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Jazz blot out Suns, where is Shaq?

by james on March 8th, 2008

NBA Obsessed takes you into the hit and run game of NBA Basketball.

The Utah Jazz used a 41 point quarter to blow out the Phoenix Suns.

This is the 3rd straight home loss for the Suns, in spite of Amare Stoudemire’s 37 points.

- Carlos Boozer scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half, including a tough eight-foot bank shot with 31.1 seconds to play, and the Utah Jazz handed the Phoenix Suns their third consecutive home loss, 126-118 on Friday night.

Deron Williams had 25 points and 15 assists and Mehmet Okur had 25 points, including 4-of-6 3-pointers, and grabbed 14 rebounds to give the Jazz their fourth win in a row and just their 14th in 33 games on the road this season. source

Utah 126 Phoenix 118

The questions on the Miami Heat to Phoenix Suns trade of Shaq for the Matrix are getting louder. Is Shaq relevant? Can he fit into a full court running team?

Mark D’Antoni, the Suns Coach, is excited about changing the team’s face with the addition of Shaq.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt,” D’Antoni said. “Not play-wise, but on paper and what we see. We can be a better team than we could ever be with the little guys running all over the place. We may not be as pretty, but we’re going to be much more efficient.”

He said defensive improvement will determine whether Phoenix reaches its goal of becoming a championship contender. O’Neal has been what the Suns expected. source

Right now that defense was not apparent in the 4th quarter of the Jazz game.

The Kyle Korver pick up by the Jazz actually looks better on the court right now than the Shaq trade.

Shaq time

But you have to give this time. The Suns are a team trying to trade their stripes in the heat of battle.

“It’s going to take a toughness, and we sometimes don’t have it,” D’Antoni said. “Maybe that’s because the last three years, we haven’t had it because we didn’t need it. Now we need it, so it might take a little bit.” source

The Suns have been plagued with turnovers and poor perimeter defense since the addition of Shaq. The game itself has changed with the big guy in the middle. Shawn Marion was often on the perimeter or slashing through the land. Shaq remains at the post.

“All of that I believe is a byproduct of just guys trying to get accustomed to what we’re doing now, the different personnel and different spacing on the court,” Bell said. “You know Shawn was a guy who was definitely a spacer. That allowed Steve (Nash) and the guys who make a lot of plays to have a lot of room to make those plays. When you add a big body like Shaq, plus his defender, that space that was wide open isn’t there.” source

In the end, the Suns will be there with a better opportunity to play the half court game needed in the playoffs.

NBA Basketball Fan Question Will the Suns turn it around with Shaq and start winning?

As always, any NBA Basketball related comments are welcome.

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POSTED IN: Amare Stoudemire, Deron Williams, Phoenix Suns, Shaq, Steve Nash, Utah Jazz

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