Heat Comes From the Sun – Shaq to Suns, Marion to Miami

Shaq

We thought we saw the biggest trade of the season when the Lakers picked up Pau Gasol for Kwame Brown, a prospect and a draft pick. But folks, they ain’t gonna get much bigger than this.

We don’t need to get into the stats, we all know what Shaq’s done and we all know what Marion can do.

But it’s been obvious since the offseason that Marion just wasn’t feelin’ Phoenix, and it’s been obvious since the opening tip-off that Miami just wasn’t going to work anymore for the Big Aristotle.

At first glance, this trade can look like a blowout in favour of Miami. Marion, a very offensively gifted player, is in his prime and Shaq, the former most dominant player in the Association is heading downhill. The Heat also get Marcus Banks in the deal for god’s sake.

But let’s look closer into Suns’ GM Steve Kerr’s mind, since no one really cares about the Heat this season anyways. We all know the offensive firepower they have, but we also all know that they haven’t been able to get it done in the playoffs. This is why we have to take a look at their weaknesses.

Taking a peek at Phoenix’s team stats, they are atrocious on the boards and give up close to the most points on defense in the league.

Nash Stoudemire

Amare Stoudemire is big, but not big enough to play the centre roll. Sure the highlight alley-oops from Steve Nash every game look nice, but those just aren’t going to be enough when the Suns have to face the Lakers with Pau Gasol, the Spurs with Tim Duncan, or even the Celtics with Kevin Garnett.

No significant player on their roster has a single NBA Championship ring.

These are all the things that bringing Shaq in can address. O’Neal has been to championships, and also knows how to share the spotlight when he won titles with Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade respectively, which is something he will need to do playing with two-time MVP Steve Nash and Stoudemire.

Shaq is also, as we know, freakin’ huge. He is going to be the inside presence on both sides of the floor that Phoenix has lacked in all these years of missing the Finals.

Phoenix does still have some very good three-point shooters on their roster, and any team that thinks they’re going to beat them by doubling or tripling Shaq is going to be smacked right in the mouth when Steve Nash or Leandro Barboso pop a tres-bomb right down their throats.

Having Shaq in the lineup is going to completely change how teams have to defend against Phoenix, and although he may not be as fast as he used to be, he is still one big dude in the paint.

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3 Responses

  1. I do think Shaw helps out defensively, but thats assuming he can be healthy. He wasn’t for most of this season, what makes steve kerr think he will be now? This is a huge risk to change the makeup of the team in order to matchup with the Spurs and Lakers. If it works out and they get to the finals then kerr will be a genius.
    This just looks like the lakers forced their hand. I liked their team with Marion. Had Amare not left the bench during last year’s playoffs they might already have rings. What it all comes down to though is if Shaq can be Shaq.
    I’m also wondering if Marion can be anywhere near as good of a player as he was in phoenix from here on out. There will be a lot of money wherever he chooses to go in the off-season and consequently, a lot of pressure. I’m not sure he can live up to those expectations.
    -tm

  2. I’m happy to see Shaq go to the Suns because they are giving up a player who doesn’t want to play for them anyways. I mean Marion trade rumours have been ongoing since offseason, and it’s about time they do away with him. Sure, he might fit into the system better then Shaq and is a better player overall (considering O’Neal’s declining abilities) but now he can bottom-dwell in Miami.
    And TMill, opening sentence is bang on “if he can be healthy”. Shaq is effective on the courts, not on the bench nursing an injury, and it’ll be a total waste if Shaq doesn’t play for the playoffs. But like Scott mentioned in the article, Shaq-Bryant, Shaq-Wade, and now Shaq-Nash? It can’t fail, I hope.
    O’Neal just somehow seems to find a way to get it done with the people he plays with, and Phoenix definitely felt a little bit threatened after the Lakers’ Gasol trade. It’s getting interesting in the West.

    Hosea C

  3. Horrible trade by Suns.
    Marion is important in the Suns community on and off the court.
    Also, Shaq has been a injury prone for the last two seasons. Even if he is healthy, he is way to slow for Suns offense.
    I won’t surprise if the Suns drop down from 2nd seed to 6,7 seed in hurry.

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