Greedy Blog

Monday, December 27, 2004

I'm cautiously excited about the Suns' 24-3 start - the second best ever in history (however, it seems meager in comparison to the Bulls' 41-3). That puts them on pace for a 73-9 record, which would be better than the Bulls. Some things give me pause.

1. Strength of schedule. It's good to see them beat teams they should, but they haven't played too many good teams. Two of their losses are to the Kings and Timberwolves, and they haven't beaten them. At this point, their best wins are the Lakers (twice) and the Sonics.

2. Depth. They start their best five players and have almost nothing off the bench. Hunter does ok sometimes, Jacobsen can hit a few 3s, and Barbosa has a good game every now and then. And those are their best bench players. Lampe is still at least a year away from contributing, Zarko doesn't even play, then there's Outlaw and Vroman. Voskuhl will help when he gets back, but that won't be for a while.
This is bad in two ways: First, you can't play 5 players 48 minutes for 82 games. At some point, they are going to get tired and/or injured. Second, if someone does get injured, there are really no subs. This is especially true of Nash. If he goes down, the Suns are back to a 30 win team.

3. Shooting. I know that a lot of their shots are wide open and that they lead the league in dunks, but I just don't think that they can sustain this rate of shooting for the entire year. Joe Johnson is 14% higher than his career average for 3s. Marion is 2% higher than his career average, and about 4% higher than the last two years. Staudemire is 11% higher than his first two years. Nash is 6% higher than his career average (4th in the league?!). Only Q seems to be on track.

Thus, I'd really like to reserve some judgment until they play the Spurs tomorrow and the Wolves on 1/4. I think the true test of the season will be from 1/25 to 2/8, where they play 7 of 8 on the road, including the second game of a back-to-back in Minnesota and the final game in Sacramento (with the Sonics at home as the next game).

National games scheduled for the rest of the year:
1/5 at Houston on ESPN
1/17 at Detroit on NBATV
1/25 at New York on NBATVHD*
2/8 at Sacramento on NBATV
2/14 (AZ's birthday) Utah on NBATVHD
2/17 Dallas (Finley's return) on TNT
3/3 Detroit on TNT
3/9 San Antonio on NBATVHD
3/25 at Miami on ESPN
4/11 at Lakers on NBATV
4/16 Sacramento on NBATVHD
4/20 at Sacramento on ESPN

I don't know if they show the same thing on NBATV and NBATVHD. I know I don't even have the option of NBATVHD, so I'm guessing maybe not.

Posted by Gel 11:44 AM Post a Comment

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