Phoenix Suns - Problem Solved?

Who knew all the Suns had to do was fire their coach and lose Amare Stoudemire and Steve Nash to injuries in order to beat up on the Lakers? The Lakers, who seemed to solve their problems a couple weeks ago by losing their budding young big man, could have used him against Shaq, though. The Rockets are much better without a gimpy Tracy McGrady, and the Pistons just won at Boston and Orlando without Allen Iverson. Next time an NBA team is struggling, it should just bench its star and see what happens.

Seriously, though - when you're talking about players whose name value outweighs their current skill set (Nash, Iverson, McGrady), the gains made by those teams isn't entirely a fluke. The big factor with Phoenix - which would make them interesting if they can squeak into the playoffs - is that Shaq is now healthy. Said Shaq:

A lot of people thought I lost it. It's kind of funny to me, when I say 'I'm injured,' no one believes me. Last year I was injured and this year I'm feeling pretty good.

Even if Shaq isn't the same player of 10 years ago, the healthy current version is still far bigger and stronger than anyone else in the league - though the Suns will still need Nash to get healthy and play to his capacity.

Incidentally, the Cavs could have had Shaq in a salary dump - you wonder if they regret not making that deal after the last two games.


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