I'm a LONNNNNGGGG time Suns fan
(33 years to be exact). The things I've noticed so far is as noted below:
1. Defensive rotations. The Suns have not figured out when/when not to double team, switch, or rotate properly to the weakside.
2. Integrating Grant Hill. The way he started out, it seems D'Antoni wants him as an outside shooter. Grant's not an outside shooter, at least not from the 3. He's better off the dribble one on one.
3. Injuries. Amare has been slowed by his knee. Barbosa's ribs. Diaw's sprained ankles (both of them). Bells tendinitis in his ankles (believe me, that takes a lot out of your elevation, speed and lateral movement). Everyone on here with the injuries they have takes away from their defense, rebounding, and scoring. The injuries affect each aspect in their own way.
4. Nash. He has stated that he is taking a relaxed start to the season to extend his stamina into the post season. He stated that he has been tired and worn out come playoff time, so he is taking these early games as warm ups. He is only asking for a major injury if he keeps this up.
5. Rebounding. Just like the defensive rotations, the Suns aren't boxing out. This comes as a major surprise since noone is shooting the lights out. You'd think that with everyones shooting woes, the Suns would cracsh the boards and box out a hell of a lot more.
I have full faith that the players will redeem themselves and have yet another stellar season. Right now they are 2-1. Last year they started 1-6 and had a fantastic year so I can see that happening again this year. However, in the next 2-3 weeks, if they do not get better, then I'd seriously look at a trade or two. Below are a couple of trades I'd look into then (some may not think we're getting equal value but trades that I feel would make the team better overall-especially defensively and rebounding wise). In order of preference.
1. Marion, Barbosa and Atlanta pick to Seattle for Ridnour, Collison and Wilcox. Seattle may take it because Marion would probabaly opt out next summer giving them more money for a free agent. Barbosa is a young SG (that's what Seattle needs since they are rebuilding and are looking for) and that Atlanta pick could get them a great piece to go with Durant and Green. It gives the Suns 2 great rebounding and defensive bigs in Wilcox and Collison and a fantastic back-up for Nash.
Giving Seattle a future line-up of something like this:
Mayo, Barbosa, Green, Durant, (BIG free agent)
Barbosa, Durant, Green, Beasley, (PF/C free agent)
This trade would give the Suns a lie-up of:
Nash, Bell, Hill, Wilcox and Amare (with Collison, Ridnour, Diaw, Skinner, Banks, DJ, Tucker, Marks off the bench)
2. Marion, Barbosa, and Atlanta pick for Kobe and Turiaff. The only way this happens is if Kobe keeps demanding a trade and the Suns don't imrove. I'd like to get Turiaff back from the Lakers because of the Atlanta pick. I feel this is an even trade both sides. Marion and Barbosa would be good fits in the Triangle offense, plus the Lakers don't lose anything offensively. They actually get better there and on the boards and steals. Kobe and Turiaff would start at the 3 and 4 with Hill and Diaw off the bench. Kobe takes over Marion and Barbosa's scoring. Turiaff gives us a better combination of defense and rebounding.
3. Some sort of 3-way with the Lakers and Bulls (if they decide they want Kobe still and with the Suns only Major piece leaving is Marion). Something to where the Suns get a combo of at least 2 of these guys Ty Thomas, Noah, Nocioni. That way we get size, rebounding, and defense in return.
4. Marion and maybe a 2nd round pick or two to Cleveland for Gooden and Verejao (S&T for about $7 mil). Looks like Verejao has basically written off the Cavs, so he could be had fairly easy. Gooden and Verejao immediately help defensively and rebounding. Both are beasts when it comes to the boards and both have tat little pick and pop in their repetoire (a la Kurt Thomas
Those are some of the trade possibilities that I wouldn't mind seeing in the next few months if the Suns continue their woes. I have full faith in them, don't get me wrong. But a change isn't always the worst thing either.