Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hardwood Paroxysm Playoff Preview: Phoenix Suns

It's hard to keep track of everything you need to know about all the teams in the playoffs. So we thought we'd do a quick and dirty playoff preview with our favorite bloggers. We asked a simple 20 Question survey to bloggers from all of the playoff teams, and got responses back from most of them. We continue our previews with the Phoenix Suns. Filling us in on the impactus of the Shaqtus is PhoenixStan from Bright Side Of The Sun Enjoy.

1. Team Name:
Los Suns
2. Biggest Star: At 7'1" and 325lbs and with this mouth it's not really up for debate is it
3. Playoff Seed: 6th.
4. Mascot's Name: The Originilla Gorilla (inaugural member of the Mascot HOF)
5. Best player: Amare Stoudemire: Best hands of any big man in the game Finishes as well as anyone in the game Jump shot as good as any big man in the game. Weak side blocks as good as anyone in the game. Passing and on-ball defense as good as anyone in the D-league.
6. Most important player: Steve Nash – less hair, more deadly
7. Better at zone or man: Lately the Suns have been experimenting with a bit of everything. With Shaq on the floor against certain teams like the Warriors and Pistons they are kind of stuck either having to play zone or bring Shaq well away from the rim. IMHO the zone is only good for limited use as a surprise tactic or against a very few bad teams. The Suns overused the zone against the Celtics and got destroyed with the high-low game.
8. Grade your offense going into the playoffs: A+. Not just best in the league but might be the best we've seen in last decade. 9 point fourth quarter performance notwithstanding.
9. Grade your defense going into the playoffs: B - In some ways the Suns D is underrated and in others its worse then advertised. With Shaq on the floor the biggest hole is the mid-range part of the floor and teams with shooting big men like Utah and LA (w/o Bynum) pose problems. Then with Shaq off the floor the Suns go back to being small inside w/ Diaw playing center.
10. Worst player: For the Suns this award could be renamed MFP (where F = Frustrating) in which case its hands down Boris Diaw. I guess every team has an overpaid guy that only delivers up to his potential every third night. Ours just happens to be a 6'9" point guard / center. But if you mean just plain worst player then that goes to Bo Outlaw who was so bad that even three years later he still stinks.
11. Glue guy: Raja Bell. If you watched Bell stick to Brandon Roy's ass as he chased him all over the court then you see that Raja has Elmer's in his veins. If Skinner got more minutes he might be the glue guy. He's got the hustle and goatee needed for the position.
12. Five words to describe the team heading into the playoffs: The window is closing fast
13. Best-case scenario: Very hot summer parade down Central Ave where cold water is being sold for $10 and about 12,000 fans die of heat stroke waiting Shaq to climb up on a fire truck and The Gorilla melts into a storm drain only to return the following year as the Cloverfield monster. 14. Worst case scenario: Fishing in Arizona isn't all that good anytime. In April it really sucks.
15. First player that comes to mind, "Thunder": No brainer – The Big Shaqtus with Amare playing the role of Little Thunder
16. First player that comes to mind, "Twinkie": Did you write this question just for me? Doris Meow
17. Current emotion you feel about this team: Current isn't specific enough since my and the collective Suns world's emotions are still on a rollercoaster this season. How about hopefully optimistic but preparing now for a hard and fast depression
18. Team you don't want to see in the next two months: Utah (in SLC) – inside/outside scoring, solid bench, tough experienced coach and fans that are neurotic as ours but louder about it. Besides 20,000 white people in one place its just too intimidating for words (that's the real secret to the Jazz' home court advantage).
19. Team you want to see in the next two months: Rockets are the obvious choice so I will just go with that
20. What food best describes this team?: Menudo. If you ignore that its made of cow intestines its actually a very nice blend of spicy flavors that makes a quick impact on your taste buds and kind of leaves you wanting more. It's also a traditional cure for a hangover and that connection to the Suns is obvious.

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