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Basically, an article on their own site about what we've been harping about the whole year so far.

http://www.nba.com/suns/news/tribune_051118.html

The article itself for those who are lazy ^_^ :

A quick look at the statistics shows a Suns team that still scores more than anyone else in the NBA (107.4 points per game). No one has more assists and no one shoots a better free throw percentage.

So even with Quentin Richardson and Joe Johnson gone and Amaré Stoudemire at least three months away from his earliest possible return, this new mutation of the Suns knows how to score the basketball.

Stopping the other guys? Um, not so good.

After the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Suns every which way you can beat a team Wednesday night, a team that usually scores in the 80s found themselves in the rarified air of 115 points — the defensive numbers are downright ugly.

Phoenix’s first seven opponents have averaged 105.9 points an outing, a figure that would be worse if not for the 86-point effort by a worn-out Golden State team last Saturday. Only Seattle (109.5) and Toronto (109.1) are more porous, and those teams were a combined 3-13 heading into Thursday. So perhaps the Suns should feel fortunate to be 3-4. Although not one player felt that way after watching the Memphis game film. The additions of Kurt Thomas, Raja Bell and James Jones were supposed to bolster the defense, but there is no evidence of it so far.

"Our defense is just really not good at all," coach Mike D’Antoni said. "We thought we’d be better and we’re not. It’s killing us. We’re averaging 107 points, and that has to be enough."

But in all four losses, the opposition has broken 110, including two teams in Detroit and Memphis that don’t get there often. Other trends have also appeared:

*The star player the Suns targeted before the game — from Dirk Nowitzki to Peja Stojakovic to Rip Hamilton to Damon Stoudamire — has gone off for the big numbers that decided games.

*The Suns bench has played better than the starters. In several cases, the reserves cut into leads or put Phoenix ahead, only to see the regulars give it right back.

*The scoring runs that Phoenix used to rely on to provide the winning distance in the fourth quarter have been few and far between.

"We kind of sit there like ‘OK, here comes that 20-0 run, but we haven’t had one all year so I don’t know why we think it’s coming," D’Antoni said.

"It’s not as bad as it seems, and it’s not as good as we thought it was when we were saying we should be 6-0. Obviously, that wasn’t the case. Now we have to understand what the problems are, cut (away) at them and try to solve some of them."

So instead of changing lineups, the Suns will tweak their approach against Utah tonight — hoping the trend of bad basketball and dwindling crowds does an about-face as they end a five-game homestand.

Instead of relying on help and switching, defenders will deal with their assignments straight-up. Too often against the Grizzlies, the defensive rotation came too late or not at all, yielding layups or uncontested jumpers. Ultimately, that slowed the Phoenix offense on the other end, making it a double whammy.

"We’re not going to run around as much, and just make them responsible for their guy," D’Antoni said. "We’re trying to cover everything and it winds up covering nothing. We’re going to emphasize personal responsibility to each player and just dig in."

Will it help? Can it hurt?

"We’re playing like we’ve got a losing record and we do," D’Antoni said. "We have to calm down and things will work out. We have to get our swagger back."
 

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Hehe, we have some smart fans around here, because that's what we were all saying. They fake double teams and run around so much and end up covering nothing. Looking forward to seeing how the man defense works out, although I don't know how they'll decide to cover switches. You can't play man when you switch Steve Nash onto their SF/PF.
 

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What we have to learn on defense is when we should help out and when we shouldn't. I think that's why they're switching to man-to-man, since no one's been able to figure out when they should help out. At least this way, according to Coach D, our offense should be able to run better.
 

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I don't mind if they double, but they need to be smarter about it. Double down every time does not work. It just tires your guys out way too much on defense. If you're going to double, pick a guy to double off of and say "If you're going to win, that guy's going to have to beat us." When guys like Damon Stoudamire and Bobby Jackson and Mike Miller are in there, and knowing that they can catch fire at any time, you simply have to stay on them. Running at them with a hand up is not enough.
 
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