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Diesel Powered Suns?

In a sports year where the seemingly impossible or improbable has happened, where trades we only deemed feasibly possible in video games have gone down in the blink of an eye, we’ve got one more and contrary to popular opinion of it…

I’m going to tell you why this is actually a great idea.

The trade, barring the Diesel passing the league’s version of E-Check is going to send Superman complete with his Kryptonian knees and the like to Phoenix for the Matrix and Marcus Banks. You’re bound to go anywhere and read how Phoenix is utterly stupid for doing this deal. But understand something that I’m sure most of them know as they are ardently against this, but won’t say until May when the Suns figure to be long gone. They were not going to win it all with this unit as is. Or as “was”. Don’t get me wrong, the trio of MV3 Nash, “S.T.A.T.” and Matrix were really good together. They’ve won a lot of games together, for sure, but you don’t get trophies for winning regular season games. This isn’t the NHL, having the league’s best record doesn’t guarantee you the President’s Cup and a pat on the back from the commissioner. Now to quote a famous rap artist, let’s kick the logistics here.

A) Shawn Marion is a small forward. Not a power, but SMALL FORWARD. A 3 for those of you keeping score at home. Conversely…
B) Amare is NOT a center. He’s a power forward who’s playing center. You can get away with this sort of thing in college, more than 80-85% of the big schools do so every year. But doing this in the pros will have you pounded into the pavement by a team that has a legitimate big man every time, all the time.

Now looking at this unit, there’s only one man on this roster who stands at over seven feet and his only contribution of worthwhile status is a blog. Yes, a BLOG. If you really think the Suns didn’t need to make this deal, in spite of leading the West at the moment, you’re kidding yourself, delusional or both. With the emergence of Bynum into what no one outside of Kupchak’s office thought he could be, Yao and oh yeah, the Big Franchise in San Antonio, the Suns were speed boating up creek without a rudder. They needed an answer and contrary to what most think, they don’t need Shaq to be an offensive threat. He’s not coming here for that. He’s being brought here to give them what they have none of at the moment. DEFENSE.

Okay, so if that’s the case, why Shaq? You could make the argument that he hasn’t really played since the Heat’s title run a few years back. Well, when properly motivated as I’m sure this SHOULD since he hasn’t really played with a point guard the likes of the MV3 aka Steve Nash…Shaq should be it. Because in reality, the Miami Project has run its course ladies and gents. With Marion and Wade, I think for at least the remainder of Wade’s contract, we’ll see if Marion ends up with the same remorse all get who think the grass is greener without Nash mowing the lawn. Ask Joe Johnson. But back to the point at hand. The purpose behind any trade is to be better off than you were before you made it. Miami, comes out of this with a viable second option to Flash and will probably be the most exciting lottery team to watch this side of…well, any West team that doesn’t crack the top 8.

Ultimately, I think the Suns recognize they’ve got a SERIOUSLY short window of opportunity to get over the hump. The Diesel’s not coming in and being expected to run with the fleet of Porsches that are there. He’s simply there to smash anyone or thing that impedes their progress towards victory lane. Still, there are many flaws with Phoenix that I see as potential problems as they try to maintain and get homecourt locked up. Their lack of bench depth is a MAJOR one. So while this trade gives them an interior presence they haven’t had in…ever, I still think the Lakers are better than them because they have the best frontcourt this side of Detroit and their bench is quietly better than we think. They’re still not better than the Spurs because well, they’re the Spurs. If you’re a Heat fan, well, I don’t know what to tell you. Marion might walk unless Riles can sell him that A) Wade will be around for a while and B) he’ll make sure they’re in a position to compete for another title. So kudos to GM Kerr for attempting to get the Suns some much needed help…even if it is a vintage Diesel with a ton of miles on it and not much go left in the tank.
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If Amare isn't a true center, can you name some teams that do have a legit center? I'm just curious to learn who these guys are, that can "pound" Amare every time.

And your idea of Shaq coming in and helping on defense is completely ridiculous. Shaq is a huge defensive liability. He can't defend the pick and roll, and he can't defend 99% of the "centers" in the NBA who like to shoot long jumpers. Marion is a much, much, MUCH better team defender than Shaq at this point in his career. Shaq won't be able to stay out of foul trouble, especially on a fast-paced team like the Suns. He probably won't even be able to stay healthy long enough to get on the court!

Posted by Joe at 02/06/08 12:39:54

I just want to add, if they wanted defense, they should've kept Kurt Thomas. He's an infinitely better post defender than this old, beat-up version of Shaq. Why not save about $15 million per year and keep the better defender?

Another reason this trade is terrible is because, like you said, their bench depth is terrible. They lose Marion's 40 minutes per game, and take on Shaq's 25 minutes per game. Diaw is already playing heavy minutes, so those extra 15 minutes per game are going to have to go to a guy like Brian Skinner, and that obviously weakens the team as a whole.

Before this trade they were contenders. Last year they proved that they were better than the Spurs. They were clearly outplaying them in that series before they got hosed by the refs. And the Spurs don't look the same this year. Duncan has lost a step, and their chemistry has suffered. The Spurs won't make it to the finals this year.

Because of this trade, I expect the Suns to get bounced in the 1st round by either the Nuggets or the Warriors.

Posted by Joe at 02/06/08 12:52:26

All these people talking like Shaq is Randy Johnson! Shaq has more than enough in the "Diesel" tank to take care of business. He is a 14yr All Star and an excellent center even at his age. He will more than command the paint and you haven't seen Amare like you are going to see now that he is in his true position. Nash makes everyone better and Shaq will be better with him. Going to Phoenix will rejuvenate Shaq and the trainers will help him get back to being the force that he is. He will help to spread the floor and he will more than help against half court teams like the Spurs. This is a good deal, seeing will be believing. Strap on the seatbelt, this is going to be exciting!

Posted by Scott at 02/06/08 16:38:46

The true center is basically dead in the NBA. There are a lot of tall guys, and a lot of forwards playing out of position, but I can't name you a true center that's playing right now that's any good. Shaq, as stated above, can't jump, can't run, and isn't half the defender Marion is. Plus, considering the relative age of Steve Nash, trading Marcus Banks was just dumb.

Posted by Ron at 02/06/08 23:29:38

He may be an ill fit for the Suns system and he may not be the best help defender this side of the conference, but what he DOES bring to the table is experience, swagger, and a quiet confidence to prove everyone in the NBA absolutely wrong.

Don't doubt the Diesel because he's proven time and time again...a motivated Superman is a dangerous one.

Posted by at 02/06/08 23:38:30

This is a great trade! BTW, this IS 2004, isn't it? An up and coming young Heat team and a frustrated Suns team that needs an inside presence of an all star big man? Hold on, five years have passed, Amare has emerged, the Heat and the Deisel have come and gone and the Suns are on the verge of titling and leading the Pacific Division.

Posted by at 02/07/08 01:00:08

Me thinks most have missed the point.

The Suns with their former roster were NOT going to win it all this year. They were not tough enough to bang with the likes of San Antonio and to a much bigger extent, the revamped Lake Show and even G-State could've gotten them in the playoffs (remember what Dallas went through a year ago).

The Suns need toughness and while Shaq may not be what he was, all they need out of him is to be who he is. Control the paint and trust me when I tell you, every 'big' around the league doesn't need to know he's "washed up" to still double down on him down low.

Posted by Len at 02/07/08 08:39:21

I would say this is a geourgeous trade :)

Posted by Berler at 11/30/08 07:18:20

Diesel powered ?!

Posted by babymann at 12/01/08 14:43:54

Shawn Marion Rocks :)

Posted by Autoversicherung at 12/07/08 06:01:25

I just love Shaq, nevertheless

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Hmm it's very tricky.

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