The New Era Has Begun
The Phoenix Suns finally let go of Steve Nash this offseason.
It was about time for both sides to move on for each other’s sake. The Suns weren’t going to be in contention again any time soon and they weren’t going to have any players to build around either.
This was for the best interest of the organization and the player. In the offseason they addressed the point guard situation quickly–before Nash was even out.
They drafted Kendall Marshall who is a pass first point guard from out of North Carolina.
Marshall is slated to be the backup in Phoenix behind Goran Dragic. Dragic makes his return to Phoenix after once being the heir-apparent to Nash a few years ago.
Last season Dragic played for the Rockets and put up massive numbers over a short time period. He put up the same numbers that Jeremy Lin was putting up in New York–except for it was in Houston.
There are some who believe that Dragic can take over the starting role and be productive–especially in Alvin Gentry’s offense.
I lie somewhere in the middle. I think that he’ll be productive their, but I don’t think that he’s ultimately the answer for this team at the point guard position.
I’m a firm believer that this position is one of the key points on any team. If its not manned properly, then your team will fail.
I don’t think that Dragic has consistently shown us that he can be in the upper echelon of point guards in the league. He’s put up some great numbers and had some great games in spots–but ultimately I don’t know if he can be a top 15 point guard.
The Michael Beasley Zone
The Suns have entered into a place where teams are pretty afraid to go.
The Michael Beasley zone is the equivalent of the Twilight zone. You never know what’s going on in that head of his. You don’t know what kind of player he’s going to be or how to properly coach him.
Beasley is a player with loads of potential. He wasn’t drafted with the second overall pick for no reason–he should be a star player. The thing is that he’s not.
He has so much ability and he always has. I’ve known about Beasley for years now. I even have a few friends that know him personally. They’ve all told me stories about him and what he does.
He’s a guy that can have a 40 point game one night and then shoot 25% from the floor the next. Its maddening.
I’d love to see Michael Beasley become a very good player in this league–his talent has been enough to keep him around this long. But he needs to stay focused on what the goal is for him in Phoenix.
He’s been very good throughout the preseason and has shown flashes of why Miami chose him second overall. He’s been a great post option and has been able to stretch the floor as well. He’s shown passing skill and a willingness to give up the ball.
For him to be productive in this offense he’s going to have to do that consistently. He can be the new Shawn Marion in this offense if he plays the way that he can.
Marcin Gortat is a player that goes unnoticed throughout various NBA circles. Since being traded to Phoenix he has consistently been a double double guy.
Some of that is due to Steve Nash but some of that is also because he’s a very good player. He’s going to see an increase in minutes with Nash gone because they’ll need him to take care of some of the scoring load.
Here are how I think the minutes will play out.
Goran Dragic- 31.7 Mpg
Shannon Brown- 30.4 Mpg
Michael Beasely- 32.1 Mpg
Channing Frye- 27.6 Mpg
Marcin Gortat- 34.7 Mpg
Wesley Johnson- 22.8 Mpg
Jared Dudely- 21.7 Mpg
Luis Scola- 20.1 Mpg
Markieff Morris- 22.8 Mpg
Kendall Marshall- 18.6 Mpg
Jermaine O’Neal- 15.2 Mpg
Sebastian Telfair- 20.8 Mpg
The Phoenix Suns probably won’t be a team that contends for much this year. Though Gortat may end up putting up nice numbers, that won’t be enough to get them over the hump.
Between Goran Dragic and Michael Beasley the Suns are going to need some extra production. I’m not sure that either are consistent enough to give them that at a playoff caliber level.
I think the Suns will end up back in the lottery again. They’ll certainly be fun to watch though.