Contenders by Committee? Phoenix Suns Hope Depth Trumps Star Power

July 15th, 2010 by Matt Petersen Leave a reply »
It became a revelation as the playoffs went on.

Teams were baffled, losing leads and games not to Nash and Stoudemire, but to the likes of Goran Dragic, Jared Dudley, Channing Frye, and Lou Amundson. 

Granted, past contenders had enviable reserve units. This was different. This wasn't the bench admirably holding down the fort until the typical heroes returned. The subs were the heroes. They were the ones taking a lead, extending it, sticking the dagger in crunch time.

The Suns found out they didn't necessarily need their stars to deliver a killer blow. Instead, they were winning by attrition—wearing down the opponent with wave after wave of fresh, talented legs. Nash no longer needed to be rushed in early in the fourth quarter. Heck, sometimes he wasn't needed at all in the final frame.

After losing Stoudemire this summer, Phoenix opted to put their money on all-around solidarity rather than top-heavy superstars. Instead of swinging for David Lee or Dirk Nowitzki, the Suns netted Hakim Warrick, Josh Childress and Hedo Turkoglu—all through sign-and-trades made possible by their trade exception created by Stoudemi ...

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