FanPost

Lessons On Destroying A Team's Identity From The Phoenix Suns

I don't suspect many of you follow the Phoenix Suns, in fact I probably wouldn't if I didn't live in Phoenix, so bear with me here.  As the head coach, Mike D'Antoni, ran a very exciting and entertaining brand of offensive basketball.  When the team was clicking, not one NBA team could effectively defend this juggernaut.  The downside to D'Antoni was his lack of emphasis on defense ... the Suns could rarely lock down anyone when they needed to.  The Suns management wanted Mike to focus on two things to make the team better:  1) devote more time to practicing defense and 2) develop the younger players on his bench.  

Word has it that he refused to do either so he and the Suns parted ways.  The Suns told their fans that they hired a defensive minded coach who knew how to win championships, Terry Porter.  Porter instituted a tough defensive philosophy and changed the offense enough to disrupt what the players had be used to for years prior to his arrival.  Porter tried to change the identity of the team and it did not bode well for him, as he was fired after 51 games into his first season as coach because the team was not built in a way to succeed in Porter's system. 

The Suns replaced him with Alvin Gentry, an assistant under D'Antoni, who understood D'Antoni's offense and the need for better defense and the development of younger players.  He changed the identity back to D'Antoni's explosive and exciting offense, implemented the two things that Mike wouldn't, and won 54 games in his first full season.  

The Suns learned a valuable lesson about trying to change an identity of team when the team built a certain way. 

Let's hope that TT and Brown go back to an offense that worked and try not to out smart themselves.  The offense's identity does not need to be changed ...  from splits, to audibles, to play calling, etc.  If they continue to mess with its identity, one or both of them may be sitting on the sidelines with Terry Porter.  

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Viva The Matadors' writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Viva The Matadors' writers or editors.</em>

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