The Phoenix Suns. Year after year San Antonio Spurs served up the Suns heartache in the playoffs with hard-nosed defense and not to mention a little luck.
It was that tough defense that stymied the Suns’ offensive prowess time-after-time in the playoffs and it just seemed the Suns never learned that defense wins out over offense.
And it seems the Suns still haven’t learned that lesson.
Former Spurs assistant coach and Phoenix head coach Alvin Gentry spoke on the Suns’ defense and though he did admit his team will never be the defensive juggernaut the Spurs can be, he went on to proclaim the Spurs (among other teams) won’t ever beat his team offensively.
“I don’t know if we’ll ever be the Chicago Bulls or the Boston Celtics or the San Antonio Spurs,” Gentry said, “but I don’t think those teams will ever beat us offensively.”
“What we have to do is continue what we do offensively but we have to know what we’re going to get night in and night out defensively.”
OK fine. Spurs may not have the offensive weapons or system as the Suns do but what will it ever take for Phoenix to learn what it really takes to win games let alone an NBA title? If the NBA was strictly based on offense alone to win games then he is right but reality is, defense is key in the NBA.
Sure the Suns may have brought on Elston Turner as a defensive coach but the the fact of the matter remains, run-and-gun is great for regular season but not for the playoffs. The game slows down and mistakes are magnified. Look at the teams Gentry listed. All three of those team won championships due in large part to fantastic defense.
But you know what? Let Gentry keep on emphasizing offense. When the Suns and Spurs meet in the regular season, I am sure San Antonio will once again teach the Suns a lesson.