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ENEMY LINES an opposing team's scout sizes up the Suns
L. Jon Wertheim
October 27, 2003
They've always been considered a soft team with finesse players, but they have an opportunity to change that image with their three young stars—Stephon Mar-bury, Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion, who has packed on a dozen pounds of extra muscle....
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October 27, 2003

Enemy Lines An Opposing Team's Scout Sizes Up The Suns

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They've always been considered a soft team with finesse players, but they have an opportunity to change that image with their three young stars—Stephon Mar-bury, Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion, who has packed on a dozen pounds of extra muscle....

They say they want to run, but I'm not convinced they'll stick with it. Last year they tried to spread the floor by playing a form of the triangle, but they scrapped that at midseason to run more pick-and-rolls for Marbury, who felt he wasn't getting enough touches at his favorite spots. I don't think he was being selfish; he showed last year that he's ready to win by sharing the ball, trusting his teammates, playing better defense and playing hurt....

They dealt Jake Tsakalidis because he didn't fit their athletic style. Until they find the right guy to help against the Shaqs and Duncans, they're going to continue having trouble defending in the low post. So they pressure the ball and deny the pass inside....

Jake Voskuhl tries to overcome his lack of strength by making you pay for everything you get. I warn my big guys not to get frustrated by Voskuhl, because that's what he wants....

Marion is the kind of guy that you fear because he can beat you in every way. If he isn't crashing the boards, then he's getting out in transition. He has quick hands, quick feet, he can score from the three-point line or from 15 feet, and he's their best defender....

All players are predictable to some degree, but the difference with the good ones is this: Even though you know what they're going to do, you still can't stop them. Last season Stoudemire was stoppable, a two-dribble guy who almost always went to the middle or to his right. They've been working with him to go to his left so he'll be harder to guard.

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