|2011-12 Team Rating|
|19th Overall||24th Overall|
Stats through Feb. 16
Without much notice outside of Phoenix, as the Suns fade from league-wide attention, Marcin Gortat has become a valuable starting center. And Grant Hill remains a defensive presence. But Hill and Channing Frye barely contribute on offense.
Steve Nash is still a Sun, still an All-Star, still a talent most players would hope to be in their physical primes while he does it at 38. Jared Dudley has done solid work.
There are signs of improvement from the backslide of last season. It's a start. Not a complete return to the days of credible showings, even if their reputation was stuck on Run-n-Gun Suns, but a start.
Rookie Markieff Morris is contributing at the outset of what will become a long career. But there is little other reason to be encouraged. At least Michael Redd is playing again after a lengthy injury absence.
Alvin Gentry has the difficult task of needing to push the right buttons almost nightly. Nash is a great comfort. Beyond the point guard, though, few Suns are regularly dependable, especially on the front line.
The challenge is to move forward with large parts of the roster while also in a self-induced holding pattern. It's not just about whether the Suns deal Nash before the trade deadline, either. They can keep him, to the delight of Phoenix fans, but that only delays a resolution on the future of the most important player, until summer free agency.
Same with Hill and a possible life beyond Planet Orange. The question heading to March 15 is whether the Suns get on with the next generation or wait to jump.
-- Scott Howard-Cooper
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||C-|
|Los Angeles Clippers||B|
|Los Angeles Lakers||B-|
|New Jersey Nets||D|
|New Orleans Hornets||F|
|New York Knicks||C+|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B-|
|San Antonio Spurs||A|