Things are going so badly for the Suns these days they can’t even beat the Lakers. Just kidding. The Lakers may have been mere shadows of their defending champion selves lately, but it’s not like their ship has been downgraded to Clipper class or anything.

And the Suns actually put forth one of their grittier efforts, hanging in there until Kobe set Ron Artest up for a wide open three with 1:04 to play. Not only did the points prove fatal, but the five or six seconds he had to line up the shot (well, that’s what it seemed like) certainly didn’t help either.

The bottom line is that in the process of greatly improving their defense the perennial NBA scoring leaders have somehow misplaced the keys to their offense. You could, as they say, look it up. In their last ten losses the Suns have broken 100 only three times. In fact, they barely broke 90 in four of those losses.

The thing is that grit, while an admirable quality, is not really this roster’s strongest suit. Ever since Mike D’Antoni and Steve Nash opened for business scoring has been the name of their game. And no matter how much they improve defensively the Suns are going to continue to struggle until the points start flowing freely again.

The problem is not particularly anybody’s fault. It’s simply the inevitable result of constant roster changing that has turned the team hesitant and even confused at times offensively The good news is there is plenty of time to fix THAT problem, the bad  news is that in repairing their offense they may revert to their poor (prone actually) defensive posture.

But frankly I can live with that. When they crank it back up to 110 the Suns are good enough to win more than they lose. And they are a lot more fun to watch. I k now that championships are won with defense, but no matter how hard they work these Suns are never going to get an “A” in “D”.

I guess what I’m saying is that to squeeze the maximum amount of wins for this roster they’ve got to be them. And, those who’ve been clamoring for defense should remember Aristotle’s (or was it Casey Stengel’s) sage advice that you should be careful what you wish for.

  • PaulPinewood

    Times when Suns had 140 or more points per match are gone. December trade with Orlando Magic can help us to be better defensivily – we see, PHX doesn’t loose 100 pts anymore (at least in last matches). So while defence works correctly, there is also in dictionary word: “rebounds”. As long as opponents do whatever they want at Suns board after shots, they have more chances to score points. We were better than Lakers in 2s %, 3s %, FT %, but crucial was rebounding. Phoenix must to do something with this if we want to see playoffs in Arizona. Do we?

  • JAS

    Even with 11 (3) pointers and most every Suns player in double figures Phoenix still can’t beat the Lakers. So, it’s finally come to this. What does a team do with alot of talented players on their roster that just don’t fit? Look, our Suns should not be losing like this. We have talent at every position, the problem is we have to many talents at certain spots and not enough at others. Frye is not a rebounder, defender or under the basket banger, he’s a I don’t really have to defend I’m the roam around and pop 3′s guy. Nash has gone on a points strike. Possibly he’s protesting the fact that Dudley has suddenly become more vital than him? Djuric looks like he broke up with his girlfriend, goodbye concentration. Gortat is interesting and I think the guy can play and more important, it appears he actually WANTS to play. Hill is Hill, never saw a shot he didn’t like, does he ever pass the ball? Childress is just happy he’s not playing in the French League. Finally, as I have said before, Gentry seems like a good guy and probably coach but the boy’s are not responding to the message.

  • Hiatus

    horrible comments! The SUNS can have both! Don’t give me this one or the other business! We have the talent to be a c+ defense and an A- offense. goodness!

  • JAS

    Hiatus, why limit our Suns to a c+ on defense. All defense takes is mental toughness and desire, granted thats something Phoenix has lacked for years but it could happen some day. As far as the other comments, come on, we all love our Suns but their a product of poor drafts, ugly trades and putting all ones faith in a once excellent point guard who has lost a step, can’t play enough minutes and couldn’t guard his alter position with a AK-47. Suns will shine again, just not any time soon.

  • http://TheSunsarestrugglingforidentityandchemistry.Buthowaboutcoaching?DoesGentryevenwatchthegame?Itseemhehasagameplanandstickswithitregardless Sur

    The Suns ar looking for identity. But has anyone eTched tecoaching? Do the same players ever start together? Does Gentry ever watchwhat is going on on thecourt? How could he let the Kings go on a runl
    like at the end of the game? Make an adjustment. Itlooks like he has a game plan & just sticks to it . This kind of thing happensrepeatedly. Yes the players look confused. But the leadership looks moreso.

  • Aaron

    Alvin Gentry this is for you! PLEASE LET THIS MESSAGE BE READ BY THE COACHING STAFF or Nash! I am a huge huge fan of the Phoenix suns! and every game knowing that the defense is not good. BUT PLEASE its NOT the defense its the hustle on both ends on the floor. ITS SPEED. speed is everything!!! lately the phoenix suns played at a slower offensive tempo when they usually play at a FASTER tempo much faster in fact speed can open up everything on the court as well as faster rebounds faster layups Wide open 3 pointers. More hustle from everybody means more speed and will mean more and more wins. speed is everything. then the defense will all ready be there with more speed since you said rebounding is just a mental thing. Remember a good offense is also a good defense. if everybody stepped up there speed then everybody would act like they want to win with quicker feet more awareness on both ends ETC!!! Then you will get stops nonetheless get them on a speed program or something. faster tempo that’s just how they are not a slow tempo lately when everybody looks bad real bad. GO SUNS!

  • JAS

    Steve, I always thought of you as a role model and still do (I question if we really need sports stars to be our role models)? You were a great player and still command respect in that department but please, I’m begging you, get past the “Suns are on a slippery slope to a dark hole if we don’t become passionate about overcoming this stuff”. It’s a broken record. Suns fans are living it every game and we have been for quite awhile. Suns are the worst team in several major catagories and all of them mean one thing, it’s not going to get fixed without some trades and/or a new messenger. Phoenix has always had scoring to overcome our problems, we don’t even have that anymore. The illusion of playoffs is over. Slippery slope, more like downhill on a bobsled to me.