The Phoenix Suns find themselves at the point of no return in this strike-shortened season.
Mired in a three-game losing streak heading into their home-and-home weekend set against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Suns find themselves on the outside looking in at the playoffs in the Western Conference.
The club’s sub-par start can be attributed to a number of things including rebounding deficiencies, blowing leads late in games and inconsistent or underachieving play from nearly every player on the roster not named Steve Nash.
Phoenix executives have said publicly they don’t intend to trade their 38-year-old All-Star before the March 15th deadline unless he wants out of Phoenix. Nash can leave without compensation when his contract expires this summer.
So now the question is, where do the Suns go from here?
“They’re in transition,” TNT analyst Steve Kerr told Brad Cesmat Thursday on “Big Guy on Sports.” “It’s a difficult position to be in in the NBA. Every team goes through it. For Phoenix it’s a difficult process because Steve Nash is the franchise and as long as he’s there, they’re going to be good enough to win games. They’re never going to end up in that top three or four lottery [pick] area because Steve is so good, but because of the rest of the roster right now, they’re just not good enough to be a legitimate playoff performing team.”
If anyone is familiar with the inner workings of the franchise it’s Kerr who helped Phoenix get to the Western Conference Finals before leaving as General Manager to return to his role at TNT as an analyst after the 2009-10 season.
Kerr says there’s no guarantee of success, regardless of how owner Robert Sarver, President Lon Babby, and GM Lance Blanks look to re-construct the roster in the future.
“You have to get lucky in the draft,” Kerr explained to Cesmat. “You have to draft the right guys and you have to sign the right guys.”
Steve Kerr on ‘Big Guy on Sports’
For now, head coach Alvin Gentry and his staff will deal with the hand they were dealt and look to right the ship over the next couple months with a birth in the post-season still a realistic goal.
The Suns play the Lakers at the Staples Center on Friday night and return home to host them on Sunday night at U.S. Airways Center.