I watched most of the Suns game against the Hornets tonight and unfortunately for Steve Nash and the Suns, they dropped another game and they haven't been the same since Shawn Marion left. I watched highlights on ESPN afterwards and they kept saying that "CP3 lit up Nash for 25 points and 15 assists". They obviously didn't watch the game because Raja Bell was defending CP3 all night.

Back to Steve Nash, if the Suns have any hope to win in the playoffs then Steve is going to have to pick up his defense. It hurts to write a post like this, but as they say, the truth hurts. It may seem like I'm picking on Steve, but since they've gotten Shaq to patrol the lane and keep the penetrators at bay, the next most important part now is to defend the perimeter and close out shooters. There was a critical part in this game in the 3rd quarter when the Hornets got hot from the perimeter, Morris Peterson was being guarded by Steve and MoPete went 4-for-4 in the 3rd and finished with 11 points overall. Here are 3 sequences from that quarter,

On 2 of the sequences, Steve just gets caught behind some screens. But the Suns overall must do a better job communicating on defense. Why is Amare just standing there, perhaps he should switch. Or maybe Steve just has to be a step quicker fighting through those screens. Something has to happen.

In the sequence where MoPete hits the 3-pointer, Steve is caught way out of position trying to help on the low block. He's not even in a flat triangle ball-you-man position,

After MoPete just hit a couple of jumpers, you cannot leave him wide open with space to shoot from the corner.


With Raja Bell and now Shaq, the Suns have 2 of the league's best defenders. So now it's up to the rest of the Suns to step up, as teams will look to attack the other weaker defenders.

I keep hearing Shaq saying that he wants the Suns to play the way they do, and he'll blend in. The reality is, now that Shawn Marion is gone and Shaq is there, the makeup of the team has changed. And therefore, the Suns must adjust to Shaq, they can no longer score on offense the way they used to, that's the truth. The reason why they brought Shaq in was for defense. Therefore, the new emphasis has to be on defense, and at the moment, the weak link on defense is Steve.

For a brand new video, check out Bob Huggins' DVD on M2M drills. Coach Huggins' Bearcats teams were always known for their incredible defensive intensity. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's Basketball Forum to talk hoops with other coaches.