Suns News

NBA Season Preview Magazines Rate Suns

Updated: Oct. 26, 2010

Thanks to the plethora of NBA preview magazine lining magazine racks these days, there has been no shortage of predictions for where Phoenix may end up in the 2010-11 standings.

Here is a look at where some of the print media are ranking the Suns when it comes to the always competitive Western Conference, as well as excerpts on the particulars of the team heading into the official tipoff of the 2010-11 season.

Preseason rank: 2nd in the Pacific Division

“The potential to do damage remains because Steve Nash is back and the new roster is stacked with versatility and depth at the wings. If one of the bigs comes through either like never before (Robin Lopez) and like they haven’t in the heavyweight division before (Hedo Turkoglu, Hakim Warrick), the Suns will still be a factor. If not, the revival was fun while it lasted, all of one season.”

“Josh Childress will probably get a lot of minutes as the backup, while also playing small forward. His ability to produce for the Suns the way he did for the Hawks, with averages of 11.8 and 13 points a game his last two NBA seasons, mostly as a reserve, becomes an important Phoenix boost.”

“Alvin Gentry has gone from the guy with a .449 winning percentage in an interim stop in Miami, some of the bad moments in Detroit and more of the bad moments with the L.A. Clippers, to carving out a prominent place in Phoenix. Many years as a Suns assistant before taking over the No. 1 spot obviously helped him build important relationships. But actually delivering was the tangible proof of his value.”

Preseason rank: 2nd in the Pacific Division

“There is an old Buddhist expression that states, ‘Everything is impermanent.’ That adage rings true for this team. The Suns overhauled their roster this offseason at the same frenetic pace that they play on the court.”

“While Suns fans will probably need a program in the early going to keep track, one thing remains the same – the leader of the team is still their South African-born, Canadian-bred point guard, Steve Nash.”

“The soon-to-be 38-year-old (Grant) Hill is the greatest testament to the quality of the Suns’ renowned training staff – he has only missed one game the past two seasons. While he isn’t the same explosive player he was in his youth, he still supplies solid defense, reliable ball-handling and a generally solid all-around game.”

“It will be a major surprise if the Suns are able to repeat last year’s playoff performance. That said, there is also no reason not to consider them a playoff contender again this season. As long as Nash continues to play at – or at least close to – the level we are accustomed to, the Suns will remain dangerous… The difference between a first-round loss and a playoff run: Whether one of the Suns’ arsenal of solid players can emerge as a star.”

Preseason rank: 2nd in the Pacific Division

“Nash, even while turning 36 midway through the season, was his typical self. Though he saw his minutes per game decrease for the fourth straight season, he still led the NBA in assists at 11 per game. During the playoffs, he averaged 18 points and 10 assists.”

“The impact of Frye (a floor-spacing big man), Robin Lopez (who provided rebounding help and interior defense, Hill (essentially Nash’s backup as a ball distributor) and a quite potent Jason Richardson (who made nearly half his three-point attempts during the postseason) was significant. They’ll also all need to keep it up in 2010-11.”

“Jared Dudley might get the start (at power forward) which would shore up Phoenix’s defense while helping spread the floor. Dudley started just once last season, but still averaged more than eight points and three rebounds a game while shooting a white-hot 46 percent from long range. He’s only 6-foot-7, but played better at power forward last season, and his career rebound rate isn’t too far off (Hakim) Warrick’s percentage.”

Preseason rank: 3rd in the Pacific Division

“Heading into this season, here’s the Phoenix Suns’ message: ‘The last time we didn’t have Amar’e Stoudemire, Steve Nash was crowned MVP for leading us to 54 victories.’ And here’s the response from the rest of the NBA: ‘Yeah but Nash was 32 then. And, you guys had a general manager making basketball-based decisions about the rest of the roster.’ Alas there doesn’t seem to be any middle ground when it comes to the Suns.”

“Their offseason has been considered either a disaster or a coup, depending on who you ask. This year’s team could be better than the group that advanced to the Western Conference Finals last season, or it could miss the playoffs altogether.”

“Jared Dudley can shoot with the best in the league. Channing Frye appears to be a perfect fit, while Lopez is getting rave reviews and comparisons to his better-known twin brother, Brook, who plays for the Nets.”

Preseason rank: 2nd in the Pacific Division

"Best case, Josh Childress learned as much overseas as Brandon Jennings did, Hedo Turkoglu's off year in Toronto was a fluke, Robin Lopez really is as good as his twin brother and Steve Nash leads another deep playoff run."

"Jason Richardson is one of the most underappreciated scorers in the league. By playing with Steve, he's become a smarter shooter -- he doesn't force as many shots, and Steve has helped him become more patient."

"Grant Hill has turned into a reliable player physically, which is a testamant to what he does in the off-season. He's got the veteran's mentality: He doesn't force things, he knows what his limits are, and he's smart enough defensively that he doesn't get taken advantage of."