The unorthodox Phoenix Suns are going to be even more unorthodox next season.
It’s a matter of necessity after the roster shakeups this summer, with Amare Stoudemire out and Hedo Turkoglu and Josh Childress in. They will be smaller, faster, and have a new spot-up shooter in Steve Nash. Don’t take my word for it, that is what coach Alvin Gentry toldXTRA 910 in Phoenix.
“I think for Hedo to have Steve Nash out there and for Steve Nash to have Hedo out there, you’re talking about a guy, he really is a facilitator Hedo is and we will put the ball in his hands. For the first time since I’ve been here we can use Steve as an off the ball shooter which he is great at. Probably one of the top five shooters in the league, but we just never had the opportunity to put him in that position.”
Yes, Nash is a pretty good catch-and-shoot guy. According to Synergy sports, Nash had 93 shots last season as a spot-up guy and shot 39.7 percent from three (slightly below his overall 42 percent, but still dang good) and he averaged a very good 1.12 point per shot attempt. Most of his spot ups — 69 percent — were from three.
Also expect Gentry to try some wild lineups to see what works.
In our case we’re going to have to [really develop chemistry] because we’re going to be a small team, there are going to be rebounding situations, there’s going to be rotation situations because we’re about ten or eleven guys deep. So all of that is going to play into it. As we go into the season and into training camp those are the things that are going to be on our mind.”
Joel Embiid on Monday will have an MRI on his injured left knee and is now listed as out indefinitely.
Embiid has been experiencing swelling and soreness in the left knee injury that has caused him to miss 16 out of the last 17 games. Bryan Colangelo announced back on Feb. 11 that Embiid has a minor meniscal tear. In his most recent press conference last Friday, Colangelo had targeted this Friday’s home game against the Knicks as a possibility for Embiid’s return. Now, that isn’t the case.
Embiid had been the biggest ray of hope for Philadelphia, but the 76ers shouldn’t chase watchability down the stretch. Sit Embiid until he’s fully healthy and secure the best draft position possible.
Maybe Embiid’s body just can’t handle the rigors of NBA basketball, but Philadelphia has no choice but to hope for the best with him and Simmons. And hope the nail the their first-round pick this year and get the Lakers’ first-rounder.
This could still be a dangerously good team in coming years. The Process created that potential.
But the threat of injury always looms around the corner, maybe especially so for Embiid.
Report: Knicks’ Joakim Noah likely to miss rest of season after knee surgery
Prepare for the talk next fall about Noah feeling refreshed and ready to help the Knicks.
But this surgery won’t reverse the underlying problem: Noah is a 31-year-old big man with heavy mileage. He can manage his knees, but it’s probably too late for him to regain enough athleticism to reliably contribute.
Just three years and $55 million+ remaining on his contract, which already looked like the NBA’s worst deal and is now even more unfavorable.
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