SI Vault
2 Phoenix SUNS
Arash Markazi
October 23, 2006
Their big man is up and running. If he stays healthy, there's no stopping them
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October 23, 2006

2 Phoenix Suns

Their big man is up and running. If he stays healthy, there's no stopping them

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Boris Diaw
PPG 13.3
RPG 6.9
APG 6.2
BPG 1.05
SPG 0.72
FG% 52.6
3FG% 26.7

Steve Nash
PPG 18.8
RPG 4.2
APG 10.5
SPG 0.77
FG% 51.2
3FG% 43.9
FT% 92.1

Raja Bell
PPG 14.7
RPG 3.2
APG 2.6
BPG 0.28
SPG 0.96
FG% 45.7
3FG% 44.2

Shawn Marion
PPG 21.8
RPG 11.8
APG 1.8
BPG 1.69
SPG 1.98
FG% 52.5
3FG% 33.1

BENCH 2005--06 STATS
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]


Enemy Lines
An opposing team's scout sizes up the Suns

Initially, the return of Amar´┐Ż Stoudemire might actually hurt them offensively--like the problems Sacramento had trying to incorporate Chris Webber after he had a similar surgery. In the Suns' case it's going to require adjustments from Boris Diaw and Shawn Marion. Marion has excelled as a power forward the past two years by beating the bigger guys down the floor, but now he may have to yield that role to Stoudemire or Diaw in order to get the three of them on the floor together.... If you have a team that can do it, the way to defend Steve Nash is to limit your defensive switches, force him to be a scorer and make him work hard. Bringing an extra defender over to stop his penetration plays into their strategy because you're leaving a three-point shooter open.... I used to think Leandro Barbosa wasn't a point guard, but now he gets it done well enough.... Can they come up with enough stops to win a championship? In a seven-game series good opponents will lock into their plays and figure out strategies to limit some of Nash's freelance stuff.

In the Suns' 29 games without Kurt Thomas, opponents averaged 107.6 points and Phoenix went 18--11; with Thomas, the team allowed 100.2 points per game and went 36--17.

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