Posted by Neil Paine on October 19, 2010
Welcome to our 2010-11 NBA Blogosphere Previews, in which we contact the finest team bloggers on the web and ask them to contribute their thoughts on the squad they cover. What follows is their take, along with the team's depth chart (courtesy of ESPN.com), projected 2011 stats via our Simple Projection System, and polls where you get to have your say. Enjoy!
Coach: Alvin Gentry
Record: 54-28, Finished 2nd in NBA Pacific Division
Pythagorean W-L: 54-28 (7th of 30)
SRS: 4.68 (6th of 30) ▪ Pace Factor: 95.3 (4th of 30)
Offensive Rating: 115.3 (1st of 30) ▪ Defensive Rating: 110.2 (23rd of 30)
2011 Depth Chart (with 2010-11 projected per-36 minute stats ... yellow = newcomer)
2010-11 Blogger Outlook by Wil Cantrell, brightsideofthesun.com
The average Suns' fan most likely felt a tinge of melancholy and anxiety when All-Star power forward Amar’e Stoudemire decided to accept an offer to play for the New York Knicks. Stoudemire had spent his entire 8 year career with the Suns, amassing 516 games while averaging 21.4 points and 8.9 rebounds during his stay in Phoenix. In July, Amar'e took his size 16's out East leaving the Suns with some huge shoes to fill.
Economics didn't allow for Suns’ owner Robert Sarver to go find himself another super star forward to take Amar’e's place. The Suns had other glaring needs to fill and little to trade away that wouldn't gut a team that won 54 regular season games, losing in the Western Conference Finals versus the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers. Instead Sarver chose to fill the Suns’ needs with some quality NBA talent to reasonable contracts that wouldn't hamper the Suns from staying competitive in the future.
The Suns replaced Amar’e Stoudemire, Leandro Barbosa, and Louis Amundson with Hakim Warrick, Hedo Turkoglu, and Josh Childress. Clearly, none of these three players will instantly replace Stoudemire's 23 points and 9 rebounds per game. In essence, Robert Sarver and Co. have created an Amar’e replacement by committee. And while it remains to be seen whether this experiment will result in another deep run into the playoffs, the new talent mixed with a veteran core of Steve Nash, Grant Hill, Jason Richardson and Robin Lopez constitutes a very deep team with flexible, multidimensional players. Combined, they have the potential to be a Western Conference Playoff contender in the 2010-11 season.