What Did You Expect from the Suns?

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Published: February 6, 2008

Seriously.  What did you expect?(Edit: Just realized some of you may not have heard about this.  Suns are probably acquiring Shaq for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks.  Reliant on a physical)  The Suns have proven that under Sarver's direction they are entirely focused on short-term savings.  They've traded away draft picks and several promising young pieces for salary savings in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  And this Shaq move?   Surprise, it saves them money.  Shaq makes 20mil.  Marion makes 16.5 mil, Marcus 4mil.  This year, it saves them half a million(1mil actually with the salary cap).  Next year it saves them more.  Also – let's face it, this team didn't want to pay Marion what he's going to ask for if he opts out or when his contract ends.  Even if he kept the same salary increases, he'd be making shaq money in  a couple years – and they'd still have Marcus Banks and his albatross contract.  Getting Shaq allows them to cut payroll while still claiming they are all about winning – hopefully keeping their tickets sales strong.

One thing completely ignored in this trade is how it suddenly makes Pat Riley awesome again.  Trading Shaq gives him a core of Haslem-Marion-Wade with Ricky Davis off the bench.  He can bundle Jason Williams plus a pick to Philadelphia for Andre Miller and suddenly he once again has a decent veteran squad with no rookies – which is what he likes best in the world.  And in the east, Haslem-Marion-Wade-Miller is good enough to get you into the playoffs with a decent seed every year.

We're playing these Suns tonight – and possibly they'll be short Marion due to the trade.  Still, I wouldn't count on that.  I don't have time for my full preview today – so I'll just hit some key points that we need to take care of.

The one thing we need to do is guard the perimeter.  The Suns can light it up from the edges, and our rotations have been sloppy the last few games.  We need to stop that cold.  Now.

West needs to explode again.  He can score on this interior line, and we need him to to keep the perimeter defense against our team honest.  We also need him to pass out of the double team when he's doubled instead of forcing a shot.  In short – he needs to get back to his game.

We need to cut the turnovers.  We've been being picked regularly over the losing streak.  That hurts.

I'm not going to pick a winner here either.  The Hornets are too unreliable.

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