2007 Phoenix Suns Season Preview
With four premiere starters, a fine bench and a fairly solid defense, the Phoenix Suns are one of the NBA’s premiere teams. They can roll up points quickly and efficiently. During the off-season, the Suns helped their chances of winning it all by jettisoning some deadwood and adding Grant Hill.
Forward/center Amare Stoudemire (.575 FG%, .000 3P%, .781 FT%, 9.6 RPG, 1.0 APG, 20.4 PPG) is one of the games best inside offensive players. He can control the boards, use his body and hit at will. If he can tighten his defense and handle the ball better, he’ll be a true superstar package. Forward Shawn Marion (.524 FG%, .317 3P%, .810 FT%, 9.8 RPG, 1.7 APG, 17.5 PPG) can jump and bang inside, hit field goals, block shots and steal the ball. He’s one of the best two-way players in the game. Forward Grant Hill (.518 FG%, .167 3P%, .765 FT%, 3.6 RPG, 2.1 APG, 14.4 PPG) joins the team this season and will most likely bump Boris Diaw (.538 FG%, .333 3P%, .683 FT%, 4.3 RPG, 4.8 APG, 9.7 PPG) onto the bench.
The Phoenix backcourt has two of the best three-point men in the league—Steve Nash (.532 FG%, .455 3P%, .899 FT%, 3.5 RPG, 11.6 APG, 18.6 PPG) and Leandro Barbosa (.476 FG%, .434 3P%, .845 FT%, 2.7 RPG, 4.0 APG, 18.1 PPG). At point guard, Nash is one of the best playmakers in the league. Raja Bell (.432 FG%, .413 3P%, .776 FT%, 3.2 RPG, 2.5 APG, 14.7 PPG) shares the other guard position with Barbosa. Bell’s a fine shooter and an even better defender.
When you look at Phoenix and its arsenal of shooters you simply expect them to be in the playoffs and probably the finals. The team has a good work ethic and solid players who perform well on and off the court. The problem may be Shawn Marion’s contract, which gets the team into cap trouble next season. That being said, owner Robert Sarver says he’s focused on winning it all and coach Mike D’Antoni has a team that’s one defender away from being as close to a lock as you can get.