A Point Guard , A Point Guard , My Kingdom For A Point Guard
By tophatal …….
I’m trying to figure out the mindset of the Phoenix Suns and the very fact that team’s ownership group headed by Robert Sarver has me wondering whether or it is their intent trade Steve Nash or retain him at the NBA’s trade deadline on the 15th March , 2012 . It’s clear that the team simply isn’t going anywhere and that head coach Alvin Gentry and the players are going through the motions.
Slide show for your perusal .
The fact that a solid veteran such as Steve Nash is still playing at a high level on what is essentially a very weak … team has to elicit some sort of response from the Suns’ fans in attendance for the franchise’s home games . Struggling to contend within the Pacific Division of the Western Conference and it’s hard to see how the team can even make a spirited attempt at a playoff berth within the conference .
Nash alongside another seasoned veteran in Grant Hill might just be about the only thing warrants anyone taking an interest in seeing the Phoenix Suns play at at all this season . At 14-20 with the season resuming after the NBA’s mid-season showcase in the All Star game .
Inasmuch as Gentry has the appearance of being a good X’s and O’s coach , one of the ongoing reasons for the Suns’ failure in not being competitive , is the mere fact that the team fails to play any type of defense resolutely . This has been the same premise that has been the mantra of this organization as Mike D’Antoni , Alvin Gentry’s predecessor never quite got the handle that defense was a prerequisite to any game played by a team under his coaching tenure . Care to take a look at how the New York Knicks are doing as a team in spite of their recent streak ? And the very fact that Jeremy Lin , though a starting sensation remains a turnover machine of unimaginable proportions .
With the trade deadline coming up on the 15th March , we could very well see some major movements as a number of players seeking greener pastures and teams seeking to dump salary as they place themselves in position for the NBA Draft . With points guards not necessarily being at a premium in free agency market , it could very well be that if the right offer comes along the Suns may well seek to trade Steve Nash. And play of Nash’s productivity and wily leadership skills could very well be what the Los Angeles Lakers seek as productivity at the position , from both Steve Blake and Derek Fisher over the course of this season , can be best described as being mediocre !
With a young core at the center of the Suns’ roster it would certainly make sense for the front office to think about the future now rather than seeking to simply meander aimlessly nowhere over the coming years. For the Phoenix Suns over the course of their history there have very few highs but a great many lows as their annual record bears this out . Suns’ President and Head of Basketball Operations Lon Babby in conjunction with Robert Sarver will be hard pressed in trying to justify retaining Nash if the team isn’t simply in with a chance of gaining a playoff berth and given the team’s most recent ….. performances that now appears to be highly unlikely .
Marcin Gortat , Steve Nash and Grant Hill clearly can’t do it all by themselves albeit that the core members of the team such as Jared Dudley , Shannon Brown , Markieff Morris , Michael Redd and Ronnie Price have ably assisted in whatever ways necessary . With Nash possibly leaving this organization , Grant Hill would be the last remaining remnant of the organization in terms of a lengthy tenure with the Phoenix Suns. Amare` Stoudemire’s departure purely from the standpoint I believe where money was the prevailing factor , joined the New York Knicks . And as we know as glamorous as the organization now appears to be , from a competitive standpoint the Knicks still remain a franchise through its insistence of simply playing pure offense will be a team that won’t be any closer to winning an NBA title than a leopard would be in changing its spots !
Speculation continues to surround whether or not Deron Williams will remain with the New Jersey Nets . The point guard can opt out of his contract this season and all signs now seem to pointing towards that being a possibility , given the team’s poor showing within the Atlantic Divison of the Eastern Conference . The Nets are an incredulous 2-8 in their last ten games and their coach Avery Johnson in spite of undoubted talents , just doesn’t seem to be able to corral his players together in order to get them playing with any type of cohesiveness . Injuries have plagued the team this season with Brook Lopez being sidelined for much of their schedule . It has been left to the likes of Williams , MarShon Brooks , Anthony Morrow , and Kris Humphries to provide the much needed offense for the Nets as well as whatever meaningful defense that can be attained . The fact of the matter is , on both sides of the ball , defensively and offensively , this Nets’ team is very suspect .
The New Jersey Nets as a concern are caught between a rock and hard place when one bears mind the moves made by the front office in acquiring Deron Williams , during which a large part of the team’s roster was used as the primary bargaining chip in obtaining the point guard . The fact that Williams’ tenure with the Nets could be so short-lived speaks to the fact that this team has performed poorly and the very fact there has been very little insight being showed by GM Billy King . With team owner , multi-billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov focusing his talents elsewhere , as he looks to succeed Drmitry Medvedev as Russia’s President . It is hard to see how Prokhorov cannot be concerned with the free-fall of the team and the very fact that it could very well be on the verge of losing its biggest asset from a commercial and competitive standpoint. Granted , the main purpose was actually to build a competitive team that complemented the talents of Deron Williams , with the franchise also looking to move into their soon to be completed multi-billion dollar venue , the Barclays Center /Atlantic Yards Development in Brooklyn , New York . The venue could very well become an ominous white elephant if as such , there isn’t a lure to attract fans to the venue to see one the league’s brightest stars and one of their most accomplished players at the point guard position .
With the fomenting troubles said to be brewing within the Los Angeles Lakers’ front office and the mere fact that Kobe Bryant isn’t at all happy with the lack of movement by way of bolstering the team’s roster . The player has been very vocal in his dissatisfaction with Mike Brown , Mitch Kupchak and the ownership of Jerry Buss but specifically Buss’ son , Jim Buss . Bryant’s expletive ladened rant which was seen and caugh by the local tv stations and then televised nationally by ESPN was venomous in its direction , tone and length . I’d dare say that the ears of all three Lakers’ executives are still ringing from Bryant’s blast across their bow ! Let’s just say that in the NBA it’s still a players’ league but primarily the superstars’ league and there’s not really the coaches , owners or league hierarchy can actually do about it !
Does anyone really believe or think that the likes of LeBron James , Bryant , Carmelo Anthony , Deron Williams and Amare` Stoudemire can’t speak their mind and still be punished by the NBA , given their high profile ? Never mind the fact that the players in question earn a king’s ransom both on and off the court . A mere $100,000 monetary fine for being critical of the league isn’t going to necessarily burn a hole in the pocket of a player who’s earning in excess of $18 million a year at all is it ? David Stern chooses his battles with scrutiny when it comes to casting his powers to punish with impunity , when it comes to many of the league’s high profiled stars . I’m not saying the NBA commissioner is a chicken but that clucking sound you might sometimes hear could be coming from one of the subordinates within his office as he (Stern) simply wants to be viewed as a nice guy by the fans and public alike !
The premise was this , I believe with regard to the thought process by Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss when it came to hiring a successor to Phil Jackson but simply get a high profiled but young coach who could win over the players on the roster ! Perhaps it’s me but I felt that the organization had a ready made successor in Brian Shaw , as the former Lakers’ player and an assistant to Jackson , had a very close relationship with Kobe Bryant . And if the rumors are to be believed , then there was very little input sought from the player as to whom Jackson’s successor should be . Do you think that Kobe Bryant isn’t still miffed at that , given his recent tirade against the Lakers’ organization ? Now we come full circle , as to Bryant’s primary gripe with the general manager and coach . And that has been their lack of action in bolstering the playing personnel . Rumors have been rife that as of late the Lakers were prepared to shop Pau Gasol as trade bait with a view to luring Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic . That may or may not happen the case , given the uncertainty now swirling around the Magic franchise and specifically the lack of outright candor from team CEO Alec Martins or GM Otis Smith .
The premise was this , I believe with regard to the thought process by Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss when it came to hiring a successor to Phil Jackson but simply get a high profiled but young coach who could win over the players on the roster ! Perhaps it’s me but I felt that the organization had a ready made successor in Brian Shaw , as the former Lakers’ player and an assistant to Jackson , had a very close relationship with Kobe Bryant . And if the rumors are to be believed , then there was very little input sought from the player as to whom Jackson’s successor should be . Do you think that Kobe Bryant isn’t still miffed at that , given his recent tirade against the Lakers’ organization ? Now we come full circle , as to Bryant’s primary gripe with the general manager and coach . And that has been their lack of action in bolstering the playing personnel . Rumors have been rife that as of late the Lakers were prepared to shop Pau Gasol as trade bait with a view to luring Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic . That may or may not happen the case , given the uncertainty now swirling around the Magic franchise and specficially the lack of outright candor from team CEO Alec Martins or GM Otis Smith . Now unless both of these executives are willing to play a high risk game of poker and stake their profession , then they had better prove to their All Star center , that it is their intent to retain his services and to go about building a championship caliber team , rather than the quite clearly inept product that is currently on display . Otherwise , Dwight Howard will be following in the footsteps of another former Magic player , in , Shaquille O’Neal , and simply leave the organization to ply his trade elsewhere .
For the Los Angeles Lakers to be viewed as a viable alternate and legitimate contender to the likes of the Oklahoma City Thunder , San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks then clearly they are going to need far more productivity than they are currently getting from either Steve Blake or Derek Fisher at the point guard position . I wouldn’t mind but the Lakers’ bench isn’t necessarily something to be fearful of to begin with but you’d be hard pressed to convince a Lakers’ fan much less the coaching staff of that fact !
To my mind what the Los Angeles Lakers clearly need to do, is package a multi-player deal that will either get a point guard capable of producing the productivity that they seek , rather than continuing with the duo that they presently have within their midst ! Steve Nash at barely 50% is clearly better than Blake and Fisher combined . Deron Williams at his best is an upgrade far beyond anything that the Lakers’ fans have been use to in the last five years at the point guard position. But clearly the question for Mitch Kupchak , Jim Buss and Mike Brown , is do they have the intestinal fortitude to do what it takes to make this team better ? Or are they going to wait for their now clearly unhappy guard , Kobe Bryant to lay another volley of abuse across their bow and stern once again ? Simply put , it’s time for Kupchak and Brown to earn their damn money and stop with this facade that they know what they’re doing at present . If they did , then perhaps Bryant wouldn’t be abusing their ass like a pimp bitch slaps one of his whores for not earning enough to keep him in the lifestyle ………. he’s become accustomed to ! Do I really need to say anymore on the matter at this juncture ? .
Picture gallery for your perusal .
In light of the point raised within this piece do you believe that either Steve Nash or Deron Williams would be a viable option for the Lakers’ given their issues and lack of productivity from the point guard position ? Or do you feel that Kupchak and Brown will keep things as they are concerning the team ? And what thoughts if any do you have concerning the impending future of Dwight Howard with the Orlando Magic ? Should he remain with the organization or request a trade given what appears to be the reluctance of the front office to actually build a championship caliber team around him ? Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit ?
Picture and slide show details below.
(1) Western Conference’s Steve Nash, right, of the Phoenix Suns, and Dirk Nowitzki, of the Dallas Mavericks, warm up for the NBA All-Star basketball game , Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, in Orlando, Fla. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara ….
(2) ORLANDO, FL – FEBRUARY 24: Markieff Morris (11) of the Phoenix Suns and Team Shaq dunks during the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge part of the 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend at Amway Center on February 24, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images …
(3) Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis , right, cannot save the ball from going out of bounds as he is guarded by Phoenix Suns forward Grant Hill, left, in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012, in Phoenix. The Warriors won 106-104 . AP Photo/Paul Connors … ….
(4) Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash (13) drives to the basket against Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis, left, in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012, in Phoenix. The Warriors won 106-104 . AP Photo/Paul Connors ….
(5) Suns’ owner Robert Sarver seen here is seated next to Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers attends the NBA game between the Boston Celtics and the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on January 28, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. …..
(6) ORLANDO, FL – FEBRUARY 26: Deron Williams (8) of the New Jersey Nets and the Eastern Conference dunks during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center on February 26, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Jeff Haynes-Pool/Getty Images ….
(7) Nets’ coach Avery Johnson , left, is seen here alongside team owner Mikhail Prokhorov and GM Billy King during a brief interlude at the team’s training session . Prokhorov seeks the Presidency in his native Russia as an independent candidate hoping to beat Vladmir Putin and succeed incumbent Drmitry Medvedev . AP/Getty Images/ Sharon Messer … …
(8) Mike Brown (left) is seen here alongside the Los Angeles Lakers’ general manager Mitch Kupchak at the team’s training facility the Toyota Ceneter in El Segundo , California ,. The two are said to be under a great deal of pressure to facilitate a trade that would bring in a high profiled player to complement the existing roster. LA Times / Brad Hurst ….
(9) Western Conference’s Kobe Bryant (24), of the Los Angeles Lakers, reacts after Dwyane Wade’s hard smack to his nose, during the second half of the NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012 in Orlando, Fla. A bloodied Bryant scored 27 points , moving past Michael Jordan as the career scoring leader in the game . AP Photo/Chris O’Meara
(10) Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference looks to pass as he is defended by Dwight Howard (12) of the Orlando Magic and the Eastern Conference during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center on February 26, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images …