As the Suns’ season came to a close on Saturday while Kobe hit impossible shot after impossible shot, spectators may also have seen Amar’e Stoudemire for the last time in a Phoenix uniform. For Suns fans, the Suns team and Stoudemire, hopefully that is not the case. The Suns need Stoudemire in order to most effectively thrive in their fast-paced offense, and STAT needs the Suns’ style to showcase and maximize his skill set. This team and player are a match made in heaven, and Stoudemire, along with Suns owner Robert Sarver, need to realize that.
Amar’e is the most athletic power forward in the NBA. He can cross his defender, jump over him, or beat him with his quick feet. His athleticism is fully utilized in Phoenix’s offense, while in other places it probably wouldn’t be. With Steve Nash at the helm, the Suns like to run, run, run, and Stoudemire can run the break all day. When they aren’t running their opponent to exhaustion, in the half-court Stoudemire is the go-to guy. Nash will look for Stoudemire at any opportunity, including on the vaunted pick-and-roll, as well as Nash’s signature dribble handoffs. Also, the Suns as a team don’t emphasize defense for the most part, so Stoudemire’s lack of defensive intensity can be covered for or semi-excused.
In addition to Phoenix being the perfect fit for Stoudemire, they provide his best chance for a title now and in the future. Phoenix has Nash, Jason Richardson and Grant Hill all returning for next season at least, and possibly beyond that, so with that core in place there is no reason to believe the Suns can’t contend for the Western Conference Finals again next year. Also, the Suns have Goran Dragic as the point guard of the future, as well as young players like Robin Lopez, Channing Frye and Jared Dudley who can slowly integrate their way into the starting line-up as the older guys retire. Right now, Stoudemire is heading into his prime, and he can be the bridge between Phoenix’s present and their future – making Phoenix his best possible fit.
While Amar’e needs Phoenix, both to thrive individually and for a chance at a ring, the Suns need him just as much. Sarver needs to realize that he must shell out the dollars for Stoudemire if he wants a ring for title-starved Phoenix. Not only is Amar’e the perfect running mate for Steve Nash, but he also provides the Suns the best option in the half-court. If Sarver wants to prove to his fans that he will do what it takes to win, he needs to re-sign Stoudemire. Without him, the Suns lose the most talented power forward in the game, a highlight machine and a fan favorite. Can Sarver’s ownership survive if they let him walk? I don’t think so.
For Phoenix and Amar’e, they should follow the phrase “don’t fix what isn’t broken”, and agree to a max-deal that will keep Stoudemire in town for a long time.
What do you think?
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