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Phoenix Suns

Division: PacificGM: Lon BabbyHead Coach: Alvin Gentry
2011-12: 33-33 (10th in West)vs. division 9-5
Points98.4 (8th)
Rebounds41.7 (19th)
Assists22.5 (7th)
Opp Pts98.6 (21st)

Last Season

Last year will be remembered in Phoenix as the end of the Steve Nash era.

After being signed away from the Dallas Mavericks in 2004, Nash ushered in a new era of exciting uptempo basketball in the desert. Over the course of Nash's eight seasons during his second stint in Phoenix, the Suns led the NBA in scoring five times, offensive efficiency twiceand went on a run of six consecutive seasons where they scored more than 108 points per game.

But alas, all good things come to an end. The Suns weren't the same exciting team they once were during Nash's last few seasons with the team.

In his final year the Suns finished a respectable 33-33 and were in the playoff hunt until the final games of the season.

Who's In/Who's Out

Key Additions: F Michael Beasley, G Goran Dragic, G Wesley Johnson, C Jermaine O'Neal, F/C Luis Scola
Key Losses: G Aaron Brooks, G/F Josh Childress, F Grant Hill, C Robin Lopez, G Steve Nash, G Ronnie Price, F Hakim Warrick
DRAFTED
Round 1 (13th overall) - PG Kendall Marshall - North Carolina

Analysis: Marshall was one of, if not the, best passer in college basketball last season. He is a pure point guard with good size for the position. However, while he is not expected to score 25 points per night, he must find a way to improve his scoring.


Season Outlook

The Good

Scoring Depth - The Suns starting five might not exactly strike fear into opponents but it is a group filled with players who can put the ball in the net. Everyone of the Suns starters, and a few of their bench players, can easily average double digit points. Having that many players who can shoulder the scoring load makes it difficult for opposing defences to key on any one player.

End of an Era

For the last eight years Suns fans have been treated to the unique talents of one of the game's best passers and most fun players to watch. Now they begin life without Steve Nash.

Fountain of Youth - This Suns team has a lot of youth and with that comes alot of potential. It also means they should be able to run with anyone in the league. The key will be developing the young talent and having them build chemistry with one another.

One and Five - Lots of people will tell you that the two most important positions on the floor are point guard and centre. Luckily for the Suns that might just be where two of their best players play in Goran Dragic and Marcin Gortat. Dragic is a capable scorer and passer who thrives in the pick and roll and should form a nice combo with a player like Gortat who averaged a quiet double-double last year while shooting 55.5 percent from the field.

The Bad

No Steve Nash - You don't replace someone like Steve Nash. Goran Dragic has shown flashes of star potential and Kendall Marshall may develop into a solid pro one day. But make no mistake, neither can fill the void left by Nash. Nash is one of the best passers in history and the Suns shooters won't be able to enjoy the same type of open looks they did while he was in town.

No Go To Guy - The Suns lack that clear Alpha Dog to look to in clutch situations. While it's not absolutely necessary to have that guy (see:Denver) it definitely helps a team's confidence. Lots of guys on the Suns roster can score but noone is a real threat to take over a game.

Get ready for the season with the latest from TSN.ca.

Power Rankings

22
Goran Dragic takes over for Steve Nash at point. Enough said.

Player Projections

Luis Scola's solid interior game makes him the first Sun on the board at 49th overall.

Lack of Experience - Aside from Luis Scola and backup big man Jermaine O'Neal, who is a shell of his former self, the team is sorely lakcing in big game playoff experience. This young team is largely untested other than Scola, O'Neal and a few of the remaining players like Jared Dudley from the Suns 2009-10 playoff run. Losing Channing Frye for the season due to a heart condition also hurts.

X Factor: Michael Beasley
Beasley has never lived up to the potential that made him the second overall pick in the 2008 draft. Beasler has the tools to be a devastating scorer but has been plagued by bad decision-making and inconsistency throughout his career. His career averages aren't bad at 15.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 45.5 percent  shooting but he has simply never been able to put it all together and eliminate the mental mistakes. If he could finally do so with the Suns he could be a very dangerous weapon. Or he could continue to be a distraction.

What to Expect
It's hard to peg the Suns at this point. They certainly have talent and enough players that can put the ball in the net to be competitive. That said, this team won't be challenging the top teams in the Pacific. An eight seed for the playoffs is a reasonable goal o set. There's a good chance they won't make it but they should be able to give it a run.

Depth Chart

Power Forward

Luis Scola
Markieff Morris

Centre

Marcin Gortat
Jermaine O'Neal

Small Forward

Michael Beasley
Jared Dudley
P.J. Tucker

Shooting Guard

Wesley Johnson
Shannon Brown

Point Guard

Goran Dragic
Sebastian Telfair
Kendall Marshall

Tim Chisholm's Offseason Grade

Talk about all over the map.

The club went young after losing Steve Nash by drafting Kendall Marshall, inking Goran Dragic and Michael Beasley then trading for Wes Johnson.

They then pivoted mid-summer and grabbed Luis Scola and Jermaine O'Neal and confused everyone about what direction they felt they were headed in.

The club's offseason painted the Suns as a club that knows it needs to tear down and rebuild but just can't quite commit to the losing that comes with such a stratagem.

So now they are going to be a club that loses, but doesn't lose enough to make the losing worthwhile on draft night.

Grade: D+

Tipping Off

The Suns open the season on Halloween hosting the Warriors.

Oct. 31 10pm et Warriors vs PHX
Next 4 games
Nov.2 vs DET 10pm et
Nov. 4 @ ORL 6pm et
Nov. 5 @ MIA 7:30pm et
Nov. 7 @ CHA 7pm et



Big Tour

A Historic Event

It was Canada's night at the NBA Draft as four players from north of the border were selected.


1. Andrew Wiggins - Cavaliers

8. Nik Stauskas - Kings

18. Tyler Ennis - Suns

45. Dwight Powell - Hornets


2014 NBA Draft Tracker

Social Media
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Podcasts

TSN 1050: 1On1 With Will & Duane - Aug 10th 2014

Love-Wiggins done deal? KD: The Real Reasons, what's next for USA Basketball, Becky Hammon breaks barriers & Naismith 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees

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1On1 talks Paul George & what's next for NBA vs FIBA, Wiggins for Love & welcomes Washington Post's Michael Lee to talk Five Alive & the Wizards.

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Will & Duane fill the lanes with new friends of the program Aggrey Sam/CSN Chicago & Tony McIntyre/CIA Bounce along with the News, Views & Truths.


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