Eric Gay - AP
10 days ago: San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker, of France, left, drives against Phoenix Suns' Robin Lopez, right, during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Dec. 20, 2010 in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Last in the league in defensive efficiency? Really? I know someone has to be last, but come on. This is ridiculous.
Currently, the Suns are the league's worst defense, giving up 113.8 points per 100 possessions. Their defense is so bad it would make their own offense look even better than it does (112 points per 100 possessions, 3rd overall).
In their most-recent 10-man rotation Last week, the Suns "boasted" 6 of 10 rotation players with a defensive reputation "better-than-horrible": Goran Dragic, Jared Dudley, Josh Childress, Grant Hill, Channing Frye and Robin Lopez. Sure the other 4 really were horrible, but mathematically-speaking, shouldn't that add up to something better than horrible?
Yet, that's where the Suns stand. Horrible on defense. Bad rotations, bad switches, gimmicky schemes.
This week, the Suns replaced 2 of the 4 horrible defenders (Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson) with 2 reputedly better-than-horrible defenders (Marcin Gortat and Mikael Pietrus) and another horrible one (Vince Carter).
That makes an 11-man rotation with 8 better-than-horrible defenders.
Gentry had better be able to get some defensive results from this crew.
Even the remaining horrible defenders have successfully assimilated into highly respectable defenses - Carter with New Jersey and Orlando, Nash with the Suns in the mid-2000s and Warrick with Milwaukee and Chicago last season.
So we should expect some results, right? Somewhere around the middle of the pack or higher?
Maybe the Suns should employ Larry Brown as a short-term consultant on defense. He and Gentry have a long history together and he's got plenty of time on his hands now after being let go from Charlotte.
Just imagine if the Suns had passable defense this year, if not downright stingy?
How far can the league's best offense, combined with a mid-pack defense, go? Pretty far, actually.