Offense Alone Can't Win Championships

2004-2005 Phoenix Suns Starters 
One of my favorite teams to watch EVER was the 2004-2005 Phoenix Suns. I'm only 24 years old but man, 62-20, 110 points per game, allowed 103 which was dead last in the NBA yeah that's terrible, I mean really terrible, but they were fun to watch

 I loved it, all five starters were over 14.9 points per game how often can you say that? The team was first in field goals made, three pointers made, three point percentage, three pointers attempted, rebounding, and total points.
Steve Nash in his prime, was one of the best point guards in the league. I know a few weeks back I posted a story on his current team the Lakers, and did not have very kind words for the 40-year-old NBA legend.

I can't deny that, but I can say that sure his one and a half year stay with the Lakers hasn't been the best of his career, but if you had a chance to add up his previous teams, and play on the court before he got to LA you almost have to place up on the top 10 point guard list of all-time if not top five.

A big reason I say all of this is because this team right here and this lineup he had along for the ride with him during his back to back trips to the Western Conference Finals.
Amar'e Stoudemire, Quentin Richardson,  Leandro Barbosa, Joe Johnson, Shawn Marion, Jim Jackson made up the notable names that were Nash's supporting cast, so in no way at all did he do everything for that team that season, but he was a HUGE part of why they were so successful.

Man oh man did Nash have some sharp shooters to dish the ball of to with their fast pace offense. According to Phoenix hit 3,351 of  their 7,018 as a team (47.7%) on the season.

7,018 shots?? Yeah that is a lot, but it actually was not the most attempted by a team in the league that season, the Golden State Warriors put up 7,039 attempts on the '04-'05 season.

Four Suns' off the roster shot up at least 3.7 three-point attempts per contest, the man that had the lowest three-point percentage from that group of four places was the Matrix, who shot 33.4% from downtown.

Richardson was huge that season, he attempted a team high of eight three-point shot attempts per game connecting on a little under three of them to bring his percentage that year to 36%.
That being his only season with the Suns of his career, was his highest production when it came to points of any year in his 13 seasons in the association.

It also helped that when Nash needed a breather he had a back up like Barbosa to come in and run the offense. Leandro also started six games that season while Nash was nursing an injury that forced him to miss seven games.

It is only right to mention the team leader in points per game that year Stoudemire, His 26 points per game, and 8.9 rebounds, to go with 1.6 blocks, and 55.9% shooting were big reasons why the 6-10 power forward became a first time NBA All-Star that season

Stoudamire, Nash, and Marion were all coaches picks for the Feb. 20, 2005 All-Star game at the  Pepsi Center, in Denver, CO.

Basketball-Reference all-mentions that all three of these players finished in the top 14 in the NBA MVP voting with Nash winning the award of course, Stoudemire finishing in ninth, and Marion tied for 14.

The trio also made up all three of the All-NBA teams at the year of the year as well.

What I also liked about the Suns was they stayed healthy for the better part of the year. But again it was their defense that let them down. 8-2 through the first two rounds of the playoffs then ran into Tim Duncan in the Western Conference Finals, and that was a wrap for League MVP at the time Nash and his Suns losing in five games.

Back to back trips to the Conference Finals, and another MVP later Nash and the Suns lost again during the 2005-2006 season to the Dallas Mavericks. The difference in this team is Johnson and Richardson said see you later and the team was actually the 28th worst defense in the league instead of being the absolute worst. Raja Bell and Boris Diaw filled the roles just fine, couldn't score the ball as well, but at least gave some sort of effort playing defense.

I'm telling you the offense was great, and they did some wonderful things on that side of the ball, but the team not wanting to commit to their defense, cost them an NBA Championship.

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