|2011-12 Team Rating|
|8th Overall||23rd Overall|
2011-12 Season Stats
What a strange time in Phoenix. Center (Marcin Gortat) and power forward (Luis Scola) are secure all of the sudden and small forward (Michael Beasley) is the uncertainty. The Suns have flip-flopped in two years.
Two newcomers, sort of, will try to replace one Steve Nash, with Goran Dragic, back for his second Phoenix stint, and Kendall Marshall the new point guards. Jared Dudley is the favorite at shooting guard.
Having the rare -- unheard of? -- stability at center and power forward could make a difference. But the Suns need big gains in this area after finishing 21st in shooting defense.
There are some valuable, but unproven, prospects on the bench, with 2012 lottery pick Marshall and '11 lottery pick Markieff Morris. Some veterans add depth. But the Suns have no reserve standouts yet.
Alvin Gentry has become one of the signs of consistency in Phoenix, an important role in a time of transition. The greater challenge is to bring a mix of veterans and prospects, newcomers and returnees, together.
This could be a very hard season, with losses and no sign of Nash or Hill to save the day on the court or deliver messages as positive locker-room influences. But it is a necessary season. Growing parts are part of the process of finally getting on with the future, at least a year after it should have happened.
The Scola addition, after being amnestied by the Rockets, will become an unscheduled boost for the new generation. If Gortat continues on the double-double path, the The Suns suddenly go from scrounging for inside help to a pair of dependable starters there. Then it's up to Dragic and/or Marshall. If Phoenix gets at least solid play from the point, it has something real developing.
-- Scott Howard-Cooper
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||C+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||B|
|Los Angeles Lakers||A|
|New Jersey Nets||A|
|New Orleans Hornets||B+|
|New York Knicks||C|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||C-|
|San Antonio Spurs||B|