Caught the Phoenix Suns game against the Chicago Bulls last night. I read a lot of stuff recently that called for the decline of the Suns due to the changes Terry Porter has made and the change from their old 7 seconds or less offense under Mike D'Antoni. Though the Suns got pasted in this game (due to not having Shaq and Nash resting after playing 4 games in 5 nights), I think the Suns are still a force to be reckoned with.

I took 2 clips from the first half of their pick and roll offense. I really like what they're set with 3 players. Depending on how the defense plays them, there are alot of options in the 3-man PNR, especially with the 3rd, offside player. Watch these 2 sequences,

1-4 low PNR:

Setup from the 1-4 low set. Nash and Stoudamire run the high PNR. X4 (Joakim Noah) gets turned around trying to step up on the help defense on the rolling Stoudamire. O5 (Robin Lopez) sneaks in behind and get the pass for the dunk,

3-man Stagger PNR:

This is a nice stagger screen set PNR. Both Stoudamire and Amundson set stack screens. Nash goes right off the screen, Stoudamire reverse pivots to receive the pass from Nash. Amundson rolls down towards the basket. X5 and X1 chase Nash, X4 rotates to take Stoudamire, who's got O4??

Stoudamire uses a touch pass to get the ball down to Amundson for the easy put back,


I think the Suns offense is going to be fine, contrary to what others think. The real key will be their defense. Everyone knows that you can't win on offense alone, and that was what was wrong with D'Antoni's philosophy, he didn't believe in defense. While this lower scoring offense may struggle to get them in a top 4 position for the playoffs, a retooled defense will allow them to go all the way. I think they're making progress defensively, but they will need much more to get to the same level as the Spurs.

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