NBA coaches around the league must be envious of Mike D’Antoni, the head coach of the Phoenix Suns. After all, the Suns are so talented that they could probably win 50 games even if D’Antoni sat and listened to his Ipod all season. This is not a knock on D’Antoni, but rather high praise for the immensely talented Phoenix Suns. Mike D’Antoni is a solid coach with over thirty years of professional coaching experience, more than 200 NBA wins, and a winning percentage well over .500. However, D’Antoni has the luxury of having a coach on the floor, in the form of two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash.
Steve Nash is the engine that makes Phoenix go. Nash pushes the tempo, leads fast breaks, finds the open man, creates easy baskets for his teammates, and controls the pace of the game. And Nash may not even be the best player on the Suns, just the most integral one for the team’s success. Phoenix is loaded with talent and Nash makes sure that the Suns get the most production out of each player on the team. By keeping his teammates productive, Nash also keeps them happy, and keeps the Suns winning. Nash may not be the most talented player in the NBA, but he is the most valuable one to his team. Without Nash, the Suns would just be another Western Conference team that scores a lot of points, but also gives up a lot of points. With Nash, the Suns are serious contenders for the NBA Championship.
Okay, enough about Nash. How about the other players on the Phoenix Suns? Besides Nash, the Suns have two other players that could be considered for the MVP Award. How many teams have three MVP caliber players on one team? None that I know of. The two other Suns are Shawn Marion and Amare Stoudemire. Marion is a fantasy basketball owner’s dream, averaging 22 points, 12 rebounds, 2 steals, and almost 2 blocked shots per game last year. Shawn Marion is arguably the best athlete in the NBA. He can block a shot on one end and then finish with an alley oop dunk on the other end. They call him the Matrix for a reason. The guy is amazing. Amare Stoudemire missed nearly all of last season due to injury. The year before, however, Stoudemire averaged 26 points, 9 rebounds, and almost 2 blocks per game. The Phoenix Suns won 54 games and clinched their division title last year without Stoudemire. Imagine what they could do this year, with Stoudemire.
The talent does not end there for Phoenix. The Suns also have Leandro Barbosa and Boris Diaw, two young and talented players that are just getting noticed. Diaw and Barbosa both came alive in the playoffs, showing their true potential. Boris Diaw averaged 19 points and 7 rebounds per game in the playoffs. Barbosa scored 14 per game in the playoffs, coming off the bench. The Phoenix Suns also have Raja Bell, a defensive specialist who can also drain the three. Then, add veteran forwards Kurt Thomas and Jumaine Jones to the equation. It’s easy to see that the Suns have a lot of weapons. However, they did lose Tim Thomas, Eddie House, and Brian Grant in the off-season.
Last year, the Suns lost to the Mavericks, in six games, in the Western Conference Finals. This year, with Amare Stoudemire back, I think the Phoenix Suns will go to the NBA Finals. In fact, I think they should win it all. The Suns are just too talented, and Nash gets the most production out of each player. If they can stay healthy, the Suns are the best team in the NBA.