PLAYERS: G Leandro Barbosa, F Grant Hill*, F-C Brian Skinner*, G Marcus Banks,
F Alando Tucker (R)
*New acquisition (R) Rookie
(2nd in West) Points scored: 110.2 (1st in NBA) Points allowed: 102.9 (23rd)
Coach: Mike D'Antoni (fifth season with Suns)
There was a sense
of excitement surrounding the Suns in training camp because of a new addition
( Grant Hill) and the eternal promise of a championship season (as there had
been the last two years). But there was also an unspoken apprehension, a
lingering let's-not-talk-about-the-elephant-in-the-room feeling.
That would be a
result of the late-September trade demand of All-Star forward Shawn Marion, 29,
who in his ninth season is the longest-tenured Sun. But let's not forget that
in asking to get out of the Valley of the Sun, the Matrix was responding to the
team's efforts to unload him: It was Marion who vetoed a summer trade to the
Celtics by saying that he would not sign an extension with Boston. That said. .