So it appears that the Suns owner and GM are content to let Terry dangle in the breeze like a pinata hours before a large birthday party. This is probably at the leagues behest, as it would take some of the shine off of the weekends festivities. It is indeed rare that a first year head coach is let go unless there has been some major transgression, which, frankly, I'm just not seeing here. It seems apparent that Kerr is indeed intent on blowing the whole thing up. So why are the Suns so underachieving? Is it really Terry's fault? Did Kerr really feel that the Suns would emulate the the teams of recent Suns lore with the addition of Shaq to the team. It seems to me that the Sum here is definitely less than the parts.
Steve Nash- 35 years old, crafty, good passer and shooter, no perimeter D. Though trying to stay a pro, he has publically lamented the loss of friends Bell and Diaw.
JRich- A scorer who needs to get 18-20 shots a game. This has been his M.O. throughout his career. What does history tell us about scorers who are asked to radically alter their game?
Amare- Thrives in a system where he, and he alone, is the inside offensive threat. His offensive game thrives on being able to take over the paint and get to the line. (This also makes me question why PTB think he would fit well with Greg)This uncertainty has led to decreased intensity on Defensive end.
Shaq- Playing remarkaably well this year. His presence actually makes it confusing for the others, whom have NEVER PLAYED with a dominant big man.
Barbosa- PG in the wings. Lightning quick, and likes to run. But do the Suns?
Barnes- signed to a longer term bloated contract. Would they do this again with todays hindsight? Probably not.
Grant Hill- Consumate pro who has gained enough perspective through the years that he appears to genuinely be happy just being able to play. His team first approach hasn't worn off though.
So, you have a number of disparate parts here which are being thrown together with the hopes of working well. Kinda like a Whitsett Frankenstein Monster. I have no doubt a few major trades will help the Suns in both the short run, and the long run, assuming they get get young quickly. Nash, Shaq and Hill are all in the sunset of their careers. Terry is the proverbial scape goat, because he tried to implement that one thing that a coach knows will help foster teamwork, identity building, and a committment to one shared purpose, and that is playing inspired TEAM DEFENSE. To be a successful defensive team, everyone has to buy in, not just 2 or 3. The Suns are to focused on trying to tinker with a successful offensive formula, rather than focusing on D and letting the offense-and the stats- take care of themselves. Why Steve Kerr is not being held accountable for this is beyond me. To blame Porter seems like a cop out. I say this is on the GM and the players themselves. As a sidenote- when the Blazers finally buy into ultimately committing to aggressive hard nose team defense is when they will go the pinnacle. Defense is hard work, and its not real glamorous either, but for talented teams with depth, it is the ultimate key to winning it all.
Good Luck, Terry. You deserved better. Glad to see #30 hanging in the rafters.