Quality Analysis

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Jeff Van Gundy’s transformation from a coach who looked like a narcoleptic on suicide watch to a sarcastic, legitimately funny and insightful TV analyst ranks as a pretty big surprise. Watching this Suns-Pistons game, he nailed what appears to be the source of Phoenix’s hiccups in the Shaq era: they’ve lost too many shooters.

Again, it’s early yet, but I’m looking especially at Grant Hill. I haven’t been as impressed with Hill’s performance as most people — he just doesn’t seem to do a lot to make his teammates better — and it’s becoming obvious that his lack of 3-point shooting is killing the Suns’ spacing when he and Shaq are in the game. In fact, if they’re going to play Shaq and Amare together, which is yielding obvious benefits for Amare, the Suns really should consider making sure Hill and Diaw are on the bench. A line-up of Nash, Barbosa, and Bell, all top-notch 3-point shooters, makes a lot more sense.

In general, the Suns can’t afford to sacrifice their signature offense for the sake of forcing Shaq to fit, but that’s exactly what they’re doing against the Pistons. As of this writing, in the 3rd quarter, the Suns are down 25 and Shaq and Hill are “leading” the team in the minus part of plus-minus: -24 and -26, respectively.

Post-script: And whose name keeps popping up today as the best addition for the Suns? Brent Barry.

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One Response to “Quality Analysis”

  1. Big Stat Attack « Blogjammin’ - An NBA Blog Says:

    […] Eff. — 103.8, ranked 15th. Obviously they want it to improve, but not at the expense of their offense, which was humming at a league-best 110.0 points per 100 […]

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