Go Back   Sports Central Message Boards > Professional Sports Discussion > National Basketball Association

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-06-2008, 12:10 PM   #31
Tarkus
The Thread Stalker
 
Tarkus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: In The Wind...
Posts: 11,856
Tarkus has a spectacular aura aboutTarkus has a spectacular aura aboutTarkus has a spectacular aura about
Default

Who cares? That's exactly the point...

I guess it's from what direction someone wants to take this from. I saw a Suns team that was wallowing in a rut of weak D, hi-octane offense, soft front line, etc. that took a risk of a trade in getting over the hump since it was obvious they weren't by standing pat.

So to me, this isn't about a particular trade but the Suns situation as a whole. Is it important that the Suns are shooting a higher % & better on the boards? For the Suns it is but also magnifies the original problems they had before the trade that are still evident.

Bottom line from my POV is that this is far from an easy thread discussion of if this was a good trade or not. The Suns have many more issues that'll stop their playoff run short before this trade will.

__________________
Tarkus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2008, 05:50 PM   #32
HibachiDG
Sports Virtuoso
 
HibachiDG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 4,258
HibachiDG is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Actually it's the opposite. having Shaq at center allows Amare to room to operate at PF. The Suns are actually shooting 49% & have won the board battle 5 of 7 games.
Shaq's rebounding has been going well with the trade. I felt he was uninspired on the glass with Miami at a lot of times, and that hasn't been the case in Phoenix.

Quote:
I just don't know where you get this view from. The Suns have been historically abused inside without a big man & now with one, you say that's the reason why they'll be abused? 7 games or so isn't the final results of this trade but indications of being abused inside cuz of Shaq's presence are not evident.
Shaq has not helped them with their interior defense and he has hurt their defense in other spots. Everyone shifts with the Shaq trade. When Shaq is in there, you're still a liability inside and your defense elsewhere goes down. Teams are flat out killing the Suns with medium range shooting. The Pistons game was a great example of this. To me, the Pistons are a good example of what you want to strive to in terms of winning a Championship. The Spurs will be another test, same with the Lakers. Moreso than watching them play running games with the Nuggets or something along those lines.

I don't think you can win a big time playoff series when you're that bad with halfcourt defense. They'll get by in certain spots because the midrange game in the NBA is not exactly top notch all over, but against Championship teams, I see the Suns getting abused. The Pistons had whatever shot they wanted against the Suns. The Suns D has never been good and so far this trade has created more holes. The big reason is that now, they're not just playing a trading shots game, they're digging themselves deeper behind in games against teams that can expose them.

Against the Nuggets they were able to stay within a certain mark in running up and down against them, but when you play a team like the Pistons who slow it down, your defense just gets exposed more and you run up against deficits you can't make it back from.

My point on when they had Amare at C was that they had a better defensive player out there at PF that would prevent some of the gaping holes they have now in the midrange game.

I agree with you that there is still time for this trade to work, and I do agree that it's more about the mindset of being better defensively. I just don't see where bringing Shaq in helps with that mindset and so far I think they've gone backwards with the mindset of being better defensively. Now I mean, you've pretty much convinced Amare that he does not need to try to play defense, which can't be good longterm.
HibachiDG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2008, 06:10 PM   #33
Tarkus
The Thread Stalker
 
Tarkus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: In The Wind...
Posts: 11,856
Tarkus has a spectacular aura aboutTarkus has a spectacular aura aboutTarkus has a spectacular aura about
Default

I see your points, Doug. I just see it as more a Suns problem than a trade problem. & no, I didn't think a Shaq trade was going to magically heal what ails the Suns but I'll be the first to admit the lack of commitment on D especially after a trade to try & correct issues is just mind numbing. The trade itself was based #1 on what area the Suns always fail in every playoff year & that's a stronger interior presence. The 2nd part was that Shaq was the only trade material out there that remotely addressed that.

Plus to me, the D is as bad as can be & porous beyond comprehension, inside, outside, in the paint, midrange, long range, etc. At the rate they're playing, this trade will do absolutely nothing except spend more money. & the idea that bringing Shaq in to help toughen that mentality? Sure, that works but only with teams that are ready to commit which the Suns apparently are not.

It's a shame cuz I was hoping for a little better playoffs from the Suns this year....
__________________
Tarkus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2008, 06:52 PM   #34
HibachiDG
Sports Virtuoso
 
HibachiDG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 4,258
HibachiDG is on a distinguished road
Default

I don't know that Shaq was the best option out there. I think he was the best option out there for a franchise that, like you said, for whatever reasons does not want to commit to defense. I think the Spurs made a good deal for Kurt Thomas at the deadline, which really comes full circle with their whole mentality since they cut bait with him in a money saving move at the start of the season. Not as big and strong as Shaq is, certainly, but I think he has more of a defensive toughness than Shaq brings, it just did not fit in with what they wanted to do. But, Thomas, he can have value to the Spurs because he slides into a team that already has defensive toughness.

In terms of other options, I think the Cavaliers made a trade for better defensive options than Shaq right now. Wallace might be a bit overrated, but I think he brings more to the table defensively than Shaq right now and Delonte West is a solid, underrated defensive player.
HibachiDG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2008, 07:41 PM   #35
buckeyefan78
Happy Land
 
buckeyefan78's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 12,864
buckeyefan78 is a jewel in the roughbuckeyefan78 is a jewel in the roughbuckeyefan78 is a jewel in the rough
Default

I agree 100% with Doug.
buckeyefan78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2008, 08:12 PM   #36
doublee
Sports Virtuoso
 
doublee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 11,138
doublee will become famous soon enoughdoublee will become famous soon enough
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HibachiDG View Post

In terms of other options, I think the Cavaliers made a trade for better defensive options than Shaq right now. Wallace might be a bit overrated, but I think he brings more to the table defensively than Shaq right now and Delonte West is a solid, underrated defensive player.
Not to mention Wallace runs the floor better than Shaq does and you don't have to placate his ego by feeding him the ball. The irony of that deal is that Chicago was rumored to be one of the teams interested in dealing for Marion this past summer.
__________________
Can I get an Amen from the bobbleheads?
Hey I said pass the ketchup! I'm eatin' salad here!
Oooh, there is so much I don't know about astrophysics. I wish I had read that book by that wheelchair guy.
You SU-DIDDILY-UCK Flanders!!
doublee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2008, 08:36 PM   #37
Tarkus
The Thread Stalker
 
Tarkus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: In The Wind...
Posts: 11,856
Tarkus has a spectacular aura aboutTarkus has a spectacular aura aboutTarkus has a spectacular aura about
Default

Actually Wallace's ego is still large enough that he routinely wants his part of the offense & his #s, offensively & defensively, have declined to a ridiculous level for a guy who's making what he does. Running the floor with no finishing power on the offensive end is no help & running the floor on the defensive end but being unable to hold the paint regularly is nothing to write home about...

Too many years of banging with the big boys has left him a shell of what he once was. Cleveland will be lucky to see spurts here & there. Wallace is no bargain, money-wise or play-wise...

edit: & don't forget his low 40s in FT%. Always a plus come playoff time.
__________________

Last edited by Tarkus; 03-06-2008 at 08:52 PM.
Tarkus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2008, 09:32 PM   #38
doublee
Sports Virtuoso
 
doublee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 11,138
doublee will become famous soon enoughdoublee will become famous soon enough
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarkus View Post
edit: & don't forget his low 40s in FT%. Always a plus come playoff time.
Yeah, and Shaq is the king of making free throws...
__________________
Can I get an Amen from the bobbleheads?
Hey I said pass the ketchup! I'm eatin' salad here!
Oooh, there is so much I don't know about astrophysics. I wish I had read that book by that wheelchair guy.
You SU-DIDDILY-UCK Flanders!!
doublee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2008, 11:58 PM   #39
Tarkus
The Thread Stalker
 
Tarkus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: In The Wind...
Posts: 11,856
Tarkus has a spectacular aura aboutTarkus has a spectacular aura aboutTarkus has a spectacular aura about
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HibachiDG View Post
I don't know that Shaq was the best option out there. I think he was the best option out there for a franchise that, like you said, for whatever reasons does not want to commit to defense. I think the Spurs made a good deal for Kurt Thomas at the deadline, which really comes full circle with their whole mentality since they cut bait with him in a money saving move at the start of the season. Not as big and strong as Shaq is, certainly, but I think he has more of a defensive toughness than Shaq brings, it just did not fit in with what they wanted to do. But, Thomas, he can have value to the Spurs because he slides into a team that already has defensive toughness.
Well, we'll just have to disagree here since my point is that out of all the options out there at the time, Shaq was the best fit for the Suns while you bring up Thomas.

Quote:
In terms of other options, I think the Cavaliers made a trade for better defensive options than Shaq right now. Wallace might be a bit overrated, but I think he brings more to the table defensively than Shaq right now and Delonte West is a solid, underrated defensive player.
Lost me again, Doug. I'm not sure what Wallace/West & the Cavs have to do with the Suns & Shaq...

& between someone like Wallace , who I've watched in Chicago the last season & a half in decline, & Shaq, who everyone agrees is not the same dominant player, I'd take O'Neal every time. You guys can have Wallace....gladly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by doublee View Post
Yeah, and Shaq is the king of making free throws...


I'm sure there's a point in there but even without knowing it, it still was funny.
__________________

Last edited by Tarkus; 03-07-2008 at 12:04 AM.
Tarkus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2008, 01:15 AM   #40
HibachiDG
Sports Virtuoso
 
HibachiDG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 4,258
HibachiDG is on a distinguished road
Default

I brought up Thomas and Wallace/West, especially Thomas, mainly just to go to your point of them not having the defensive mindset. I think Wallace and Shaq are probably a wash and West would have given them another player with defensive intensity. If they really want to get a defensive mentality, they need to slowly add some components in there and instead of coming with Barbosa off the bench at times, you can come with West who would be a much better defensive option. Those were just the other players traded at the deadline to help teams get better defensively, but I think the idea would just be that Shaq was a move to make it look like they were changing from a running team to a defensive one, but they need to make a lot more little moves before that can happen.

And they need to teach Amare better. I was watching some Suns game a few weeks back and they talked about the three pointers Amare was working on. Dwight Howard down in Orlando, they brought in Patrick Ewing to work with him and when his game was slipping to too much of a focus on offense, they reeled him back in and got the focus back on defense. That seems to me like it would be a starting point, but instead, this seems to have just had an impact on Amare on offense.
HibachiDG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2008, 02:10 AM   #41
Tarkus
The Thread Stalker
 
Tarkus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: In The Wind...
Posts: 11,856
Tarkus has a spectacular aura aboutTarkus has a spectacular aura aboutTarkus has a spectacular aura about
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HibachiDG View Post
I brought up Thomas and Wallace/West, especially Thomas, mainly just to go to your point of them not having the defensive mindset. I think Wallace and Shaq are probably a wash and West would have given them another player with defensive intensity.
I think we're just going to go in circles here...

The one thing that is immediately evident is that the Suns just refuse to play team D & D'Antoni apparently can't craft an appropriate D & also can't get them to perform. If they won't do this, no player/s brought in are going to somehow bestow defensive toughness. Fans are now being shown that the Suns have no answer for their defensive ineptitude but the Suns Brass should have known this already. Does this mean that the Shaq trade was a desperate move to try & shake things up? Who the Hell knows? All that's evident is that the Suns aren't playing together as a team nor looking like they need one more piece to the puzzle. Their only hope still is trying to be a high scoring team who needs to score more than the opponent cuz they don't mess with trivial crap like playing D.

If they were going to continue playing this way, then getting rid of Marion was a bad idea.


Quote:
If they really want to get a defensive mentality, they need to slowly add some components in there and instead of coming with Barbosa off the bench at times, you can come with West who would be a much better defensive option. Those were just the other players traded at the deadline to help teams get better defensively, but I think the idea would just be that Shaq was a move to make it look like they were changing from a running team to a defensive one, but they need to make a lot more little moves before that can happen.
& I can appreciate your breakdown of how you think they would acquire that defensive mindset, I just am of the mind that it's been & always will be already with the Suns team. They will never get tougher by adding secondary pieces while their starters routinely fail. The amazing part is that any team can get better defensively if they apply themselves. Team D is not a mystery but hard work.

As an easy example, I've watched the Bulls pull themselves out of the pits to being a hard nosed, hard working, hustling team that prided themselves on bringing teams better in talent back to their level by playing solid team D. They weren't movers & shakers but just a team that followed their coach's defensive game plan. No smoke & mirrors, just hard work. Now the Suns/staff supposedly understood what was missing, told of how they were going to get it done, told of what finally having a big man in the middle meant & now are playing like a team with no passion/direction.

So when we talk of other players out there that were available, some weren't going to help the Suns IMO as much as Shaq could have/can & some were a part of a multi team deal which no one knows if the Suns could even have been a part of. I'll just agree to disagree here, Doug...


Quote:
And they need to teach Amare better. I was watching some Suns game a few weeks back and they talked about the three pointers Amare was working on. Dwight Howard down in Orlando, they brought in Patrick Ewing to work with him and when his game was slipping to too much of a focus on offense, they reeled him back in and got the focus back on defense. That seems to me like it would be a starting point, but instead, this seems to have just had an impact on Amare on offense.
I'll agree 100% on that one. Amare needs someone to get his mind right & start producing on the defensive end for the Suns to be successful but until they have a coach who knows how to mix a potent offense with a solid defense, who's going to keep him on the right track? I think D'Antoni's chinks in his armor are showing...
__________________
Tarkus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2008, 03:06 AM   #42
Tarkus
The Thread Stalker
 
Tarkus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: In The Wind...
Posts: 11,856
Tarkus has a spectacular aura aboutTarkus has a spectacular aura aboutTarkus has a spectacular aura about
Default

Just to get back on topic somewhat:

O'Neal, Suns say they need time to gel

PHOENIX (AP) - Shaquille O'Neal and the rest of the Phoenix Suns insist everything is all right, that they just need time to work out the kinks that come with their giant addition.

Time is running out, though, for the three-time defending Pacific Division champs. With 21 games remaining in the regular season, the Suns have fallen to sixth in the Western Conference. They are 3-5 since O'Neal was acquired from Miami for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks.

"Time is a-ticking, but we're basically in a bit of a training camp during the season right now," Raja Bell said after the team practiced on Thursday. "We've taken away a major part of what we did and added a piece that could be even a bigger part of what we do, and that's going to take some time."

Entering Thursday night's play, Phoenix was three games out of first but only 3 1/2 ahead of ninth-place Denver. Such is the state of the extremely cramped Western Conference.

"Everybody's got to take a little bit of a dose of reality," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "There's nine really, really, really, really good teams in the West, and somebody's not going to make it."

This is hardly the time for what O'Neal called "the experimental phase" of working him into what had been a full-tilt, high-octane style.

O'Neal, who turned 36 on Thursday, has brought what the Suns wanted to their game.

He's averaging 10 points and 11 rebounds for Phoenix, with a high of 18 boards Wednesday at Denver, and he's erased the offensive rebound woes that had plagued the pre-Shaq Suns. But the team's perimeter defense has been awful, its shooting inconsistent and the ball-handling often atrocious. Phoenix is averaging 16.5 turnovers since O'Neal joined the team.


"All of that I believe is a byproduct of just guys trying to get accustomed to what we're doing now, the different personnel and different spacing on the court," Bell said. "You know Shawn was a guy who was definitely a spacer. That allowed Steve (Nash) and the guys who make a lot of plays to have a lot of room to make those plays. When you add a big body like Shaq, plus his defender, that space that was wide open isn't there."

Nash, who has 30 turnovers in those eight games, left without talking to reporters on Thursday, but his previous comments echo those of his teammates: that the Suns need more time to work things out.

O'Neal believes Nash should take more shots.

"Steve is the most unselfish player ever created," O'Neal said. "A lot of times when he has the shot he's looking to get somebody else the ball. Sometimes he's just too unselfish."

While the Suns have been better defensively inside, perimeter players have lit up the scoreboard against them. Marion is one of the league's best defensive players. Bell, also a top defender, has been left to guard some bigger players, as has Grant Hill.

D'Antoni also said teams are super-confident because of the Suns' reputation for being soft defensively.

"Right now people come in thinking 'Oh, we're going to get a lot of easy shots,"' D'Antoni said. "Whether they're easy or not, they're knocking them down."

O'Neal said it's a matter of constant defensive effort, something that's was lacking even in the best of times for the Suns of the past.

"I've been here two, three weeks now, and I know that when we get into guys and play with a lot of energy, we're a hard team to beat," he said. "We just have to do that almost every game and you know it's going to take some time."


There's that word again.

It didn't take much time for Pau Gasol to blend in with the Los Angeles Lakers, but that was not nearly the dramatic change of adding a 7-foot-1, 320-pound behemoth into the middle of what had been a flock of gazelles.

On Friday night, the Suns play Utah in the opener of a crucial five-game home stand that includes an afternoon contest against San Antonio on Sunday.

"For the fans, I know they've got to be a bit frustrated, but all I can say as a player is we are too," Bell said. "There's no book on how long these things take."
__________________
Tarkus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2008, 07:55 PM   #43
HibachiDG
Sports Virtuoso
 
HibachiDG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 4,258
HibachiDG is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
I think we're just going to go in circles here...
Definitely. I think that's mainly a function of the type of trade it was, and waiting to see if Shaq can do the things they want him to do. Not to blow off the rest of your response, but the stuff we seem to disagree on is just how a player like Ben Wallace might perform compared to Shaq, and really, if Shaq can find a glimpse of what he was even just a couple years ago when the Heat won the Title, then I would agree he is better than Wallace. But, the main thing is just whether the Suns will commit themselves to a defensive style.

Not to get this more off track, but your comments about defense and as well being interested in seeing the Suns in the playoffs, how do you think a team that likes to run can best implement a defensive intensity that goes with their offensive style? Phoenix does not have any kind of idea how to do it. The Nuggets, I mean, they don't have a post scorer, but they are an offensive team, but on defensive while they seem to pick it up it seems to be passing lanes combined with Camby blocking shots, I don't think that does it long term. Because a running team like the Suns are fun to watch, but that doesn't do it alone in the playoffs.
HibachiDG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2008, 01:40 AM   #44
Tarkus
The Thread Stalker
 
Tarkus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: In The Wind...
Posts: 11,856
Tarkus has a spectacular aura aboutTarkus has a spectacular aura aboutTarkus has a spectacular aura about
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HibachiDG View Post
Definitely. I think that's mainly a function of the type of trade it was, and waiting to see if Shaq can do the things they want him to do. Not to blow off the rest of your response, but the stuff we seem to disagree on is just how a player like Ben Wallace might perform compared to Shaq, and really, if Shaq can find a glimpse of what he was even just a couple years ago when the Heat won the Title, then I would agree he is better than Wallace. But, the main thing is just whether the Suns will commit themselves to a defensive style.
Personally I see a glimpse of exactly what the Suns needed from Shaq in his extra boards, filling the lane defensively, quick outlet passes which he's starting to do, & basically putting a big body & wear on an opponents bigs. Everyone knew that the Suns would lose a little of the high powered offense but realistically not that much since most fast breaks aren't a 5 man jailbreak. Biggest thing Shaq could do is make quick outlets & smart ones which he's shown he's still capable of doing.

Everyone also knew he'd be a liability against teams that could draw him away from the boards into a mid-range game. That was a concession I believe was the risk if they were to try & close down that middle weakness they've religiously shown. Not a bad risk/reward only if they were to have committed to better team/perimeter D which shockingly, they have not.

As far as Wallace, I'm probably a bit more down on him from having to live with him in Chicago for so long. When the Bulls got him, word was that he was losing more each day from all the wear & tear of fighting the big boys at his size but he's lost a lot more than a little. He downright disappears at times during games. Frustrating to say the least...


Quote:
Not to get this more off track, but your comments about defense and as well being interested in seeing the Suns in the playoffs, how do you think a team that likes to run can best implement a defensive intensity that goes with their offensive style? Phoenix does not have any kind of idea how to do it. The Nuggets, I mean, they don't have a post scorer, but they are an offensive team, but on defensive while they seem to pick it up it seems to be passing lanes combined with Camby blocking shots, I don't think that does it long term. Because a running team like the Suns are fun to watch, but that doesn't do it alone in the playoffs.
I think all intensity on D begins & ends with the staff. If they are adamant that players have to play D to be on the floor, players will learn to be intense about it. D'Antoni doesn't possess the will nor the plan from what he's shown thru time.

Even the worst team can get better on D even if at first it's just D that's able to be applied to stop the bleeding at key points in a game or stem momentum. With teams like the Suns, you just get no signs of game plan D where the help D is evident here & or there & when, that certain opponents are schemed to limit their touches or attacked the minute they put the ball on the floor, opponents comfort zones taken away, etc. In other words, limited indication that there is a plan at all.

I agree about the Nuggets. They'll keep getting fat off the passing lanes till playoff time with opponents getting better with each round. Gambling only works so long & shot blocks are nice but can't be relied on too much. If they get pulled out of that zone they love, the risks will outweigh the rewards when it's man to man time..

I guess where I get confused is why the Shaq trade is being bandied about in a lot of articles as more of what O'Neal isn't doing for the Suns than about why the Suns aren't performing across the board. I want to see the pressure put back on the Suns/staff for their defensive failings & quit using an aging Shaq who wasn't gonna carry the team on his shoulders in the first place.

I really thought that if the Suns would have applied some decent defensive changes/dedication along with even an older Shaq, we would have had another team ready to bring something better come playoff time. I'm just disappointed I guess...
__________________
Tarkus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2008, 03:22 PM   #45
buckeyefan78
Happy Land
 
buckeyefan78's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 12,864
buckeyefan78 is a jewel in the roughbuckeyefan78 is a jewel in the roughbuckeyefan78 is a jewel in the rough
Default

I still agree with Doug...100%.
buckeyefan78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Penny's opinion on Shaq and Kobe...Great Article Clipps National Basketball Association 18 10-14-2004 01:38 AM
Rocketman Sports 1* NHL play for Thursday! Rocketman Sport Hockey 0 11-21-2002 08:48 PM
What position did you play? Hoosier 1 The Lounge 12 03-03-2002 01:18 PM
Do you play sports? mteeter Other Sports Blitz 14 02-16-2002 07:31 AM
If you could play in the majors.... lmanchur. Major League Baseball 14 08-12-2001 11:48 PM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:49 PM.