All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

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Split T
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All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

Post by Split T » Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:30 am

Was having a discussion with a friend how the suns have had a number of players in the past that would probably be better in today’s game. If you had to build a team to win next years championship with former suns players, who’s your team. You can take 10 guys.

Locks:
Steve Nash(06-07) - 19/12 and shot 53/46/90
Charles Barkley(92-93) - 26/12/5 and shot 52/31/77
Shawn Marion(05-06) - 22/12/2/2/2 and shot 53/33/81

Yes I think you could start Marion/Barkley as your big men today. Both were elite rebounders and provided some rim protection.

Need shooting and defense on the wing to round out that roster.
Give me:

Raja Bell(05-06) shot 44% from 3 on nearly 6 attempts
Joe Johnson(04-05) 17/5/4 and shot 46/48/75

For my bench:
Cliff(99-00) 19/5/3 and shot 46/37/78
Amare(04-05) 26/9 I did think about 07-08 Amare too
Booker(19-20) 27/7/4 and shot 49/35/92

Was between Frye and Cliff for the backup 5 spot, but Cliff’s defense edged out Frye’s better shooting.

Taking 04-05 Amare means he doesn’t have the jumpshot yet, but imagine him terrorizing opposing benches like Montrezl does.

Last two spots came down to who I wanted at backup pg. I thought about KJ, Dragic, or Barbosa. KJ is the better player, but I don’t exactly need a true pg with Nash already here and Booker as another backup guard. So choosing between:

Dragic(13-14) 20/6/3 and shot 51/41/76
Barbosa(06-07) 18/4/3 and shot 48/43/85

I like Barbosa’s ability to play off the ball better, so I went with him.

Last spot:

Grant Hill(09-10) 11/6/2 and shot 48/44/82

Versatile defensively, learned to hit the corner 3. Great chemistry guy.

Starters:
Nash(06-07)
Bell(05-06)
JJ(04-05)
Marion(05-06)
Barkley(92-93)

Bench:
Barbosa(06-07)
Booker(19-20)
Hill(09-10)
Cliff(99-00)
Amare(04-05)

This team wins the 2021 championship right?

Obviously I’m severely lacking in previous generations. Mostly because we’re talking about playing in the modern game, but also because I didn’t watch those guys. Who would you guys replace?
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Mori Chu
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Re: All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

Post by Mori Chu » Sat Sep 12, 2020 11:53 am

Fun thread. I like your team a lot. I do think the starting lineup on your team has a bit of a lack of shooting; both Marion and Barkley aren't reliable 3-point shooters, and it's a bit of an odd lineup positionally, kind of a 1-2-2-3-4 smallball team.

In terms of players present/absent, I would have taken Dragic over Barbosa. Much better floor general and overall PG, and I trust his defense and shooting more overall. I really like your inclusion of Cliff Robinson; I think he'd be spectacular in today's NBA.

I was trying to think of guys you left out who I would want. Danny Manning? Tom Chambers? It's kind of a travesty not to have Kevin Johnson or Jason Kidd in there somewhere, isn't it? I also feel like there's a bit of a lack of outside shooting on the roster overall. Hornacek? Westphal? Ainge? I just keep thinking of random role players I'd want like Michael Finley or James Jones. I don't think I'd want Dan Majerle; we remember him fondly as a 3-and-D assassin but his shooting percentages weren't actually all that great. And I am not really considering guys who were before my time, like Alvan Adams, the Hawk, Walter Davis, Gar Heard, Dennis Johnson. I feel like some of those guys (Davis) would have found ways to thrive in 2020 but I just have no feel for them since I never saw them play.

Hot take: I actually think our team/roster history doesn't lend itself very well to "all-time" rosters. Many of our all-time great players have big weaknesses, like Booker/Nash's defense or Barkley/KJ's outside shooting or Marion's ballhandling or Barbosa's finishing at the rim. If you put together a dream lineup it's easy to end up with an imbalance. Like I'm tempted to have a starting backcourt of Nash/Booker, but then we would have horrendous perimeter defense. So I think you have to go with a SG like Joe Johnson as you've done, but it just feels wrong to leave Devin Booker off the starting lineup. And we honestly haven't had that many great bigs in our team history who feel right for inclusion in 2020. As much as I love Barkley, he might not be as effective in today's game.

I think if I'm trying to win in 2020 I want a ton of shooting and defense around distributing PGs like Nash. So I'm going to really prioritize guys like Cliff Robinson and Raja Bell in my lineup. I'll keep Sir Charles for his sheer ferocity and rebounding even though I think 2020 is an odd fit for him. And as a big curveball, for versatility and ability to exploit small teams, I'm taking a gigantic big man who I can throw out situationally: The Big Cactus himself, Shaquille O'Neal. Ultimately if I can go with 10 guys, I think this is my lineup for now:

Starters:
Nash(06-07)
JJ(04-05)
Marion(05-06)
Cliff(99-00)
Barkley(92-93)

Bench:
Kidd(98-99)
Booker(19-20)
Bell(05-06)
Amare(04-05)
Shaq(08-09)

If I get a full 15-man roster, add in Kevin Johnson, Goran Dragic, Michael Finley, Grant Hill, and Larry Nance.

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Split T
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Re: All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

Post by Split T » Sat Sep 12, 2020 2:16 pm

Hornacek is an interesting one. I didn’t think of him, but his shooting would be nice. He could take the Dragic/Barbosa spot or take the Grant Hill spot on my roster.


I was concerned about shooting, but I think with Nash, Bell, JJ(3 guys over 44%) marion’s 33% is playable. Barkley wasn’t a shooter, but if you’re playing him essentially as your 5, I don’t think it matters. I think he’d be deadly attacking the basket.

Size could be a concern, but look at what the teams still playing are throwing out there at the 5. Boston closed with Grant Williams, Toronto closed with Anunoby, Houston has PJ Tucker. Barkley would play Zubac and McGee off the court as they’d have zero chance at defending him. You probably gotta double Jokic.

It does suck to leave KJ off, but ultimately I don’t know what he is today without a reliable 3 point shot. He’d be good, but I don’t know how good.
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Superbone
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Re: All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

Post by Superbone » Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:00 pm

Going way back, Alvan Adams and Paul Westphal come to mind as early Suns who would fit in well in today’s game. Adams was a small ball center before there really was such a thing. He could shoot and pass very well at 6’ 9” from the center position. He’d be perfect on today’s Rockets.
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Split T
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Re: All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

Post by Split T » Sat Sep 12, 2020 5:18 pm

I wondered about Alvan Adams. He and Westphal played either before the 3 pt line existed, or before it was really used. You wonder how they’d adapt to 2020. Walter Davis too. Connie Hawkins might have been a nightmare small ball 5 in today’s game too. I just never saw any of those guys play.
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Re: All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

Post by BlaCkAdDa » Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:39 pm

I think you gotta put Ayton at C or backup C... despite what he still has to do, he's probably the best Center we've had in the modern era (not counting Amare playing C or Shaq who was almost cooked when he was here)

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Re: All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

Post by BlaCkAdDa » Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:46 pm

Guess I should have a lineup to back that up.

PG: Nash / Kidd
SG: Booker / JJ
SF: Marion / Manning
PF: Chuck / Amare
C: Ayton

If i can go 12 deep I chuck Rex Chapman, Raja Bell and Cliff Robinson on the bench for depth and situational usage... would love to get KJ in there but I took Kidd over him for how good he was at running the floor and don't need a 3rd PG on the bench... I want to play a fast break game

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Re: All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

Post by Drewsprocket » Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:32 pm

KJ was a point god. I’ll admit that he was a poor fit alongside an aging Barkley who needed the slow down the game in The halfcourt. But KJ would’ve feasted on everyone in todays game. KJ thrived in the paint and in the lane in the late 80’s and early 90’s when bigs would beat people up. KJ is still my guy. At least off the bench behind Nash. Kidd was so hot and cold that the rest of his game had to compensate for him.

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Re: All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

Post by O_Gardino » Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:09 pm

Connie Hawkins, folks. He's got to be in there.

If you aren't loading up on all-stars, you might consider Rodney Rogers.

I like Alvin Adams, but would he be fast enough for today's game?

In today's game, Tom Chambers would be a knock-down 3pt shooter.

Did Walter Davis play defense? His shooting would be great.

Nash / KJ
Booker / Finley
W Davis / Marion
Hawkins / Barkley
Cliff / Rogers

Is there enough size and athleticism? I'm tempted with Nance at 5.

Career wise, Kidd is hard to ignore. But he didn't become the shooter we would need until after he played here.
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Re: All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

Post by phatmike » Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:32 pm

I wouldn't mind having that 88-89 Eddie Johnson NBA 6th man of the year at the end of the bench...

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Re: All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

Post by carey » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:21 pm

Nash-KJ
Booker-JJ
Marion-Majerle
Chuck-Tom
Amare-Ayton
Go Suns!

Og Snus!

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Re: All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

Post by Drewsprocket » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:35 pm

A little off the beaten path but imagine watching these suns all time lineups Face off...somewhat of a small ball game.
Nash — KJ
Booker — Hornacek
JJ — Majerle
Marion — Barkley
Amare — Tom

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Re: All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

Post by Indy » Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:00 am

If you are taking players, for only one year, and at their peak while a Sun, here is my list:

Back court
Nash, JJ, Booker, EJ, Majerle (not sure you can find a better mix of 3FG%, defense, and just pure bucket getters--and I just didn't see enough of Westphal)

Front court
Amare, Marion, Tom, Cliff, Davis

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ShelC
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Re: All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

Post by ShelC » Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:27 am

Nash, Dragic, Kidd
Book, Joe Johnson, Majerle
Bubble Bridges, Cam, Oubre
Cliff, Barkley, Manning
Tom Chambers, Tim Thomas, Ayton

That's the full roster by position with lineups below. Didn't get into specific years but taking them in their primes/best years in Phoenix. Nash/Dragic/Kidd gives me the best offense/defense combo at point and Kidd and Dragic can play some 2.

Book, JJ, Majerle same thing with offense/defense and JJ and Majerle can swing over to the 3. Booker's the most talented, Majerle 2way player and JJ with size and versatility with offense from everywhere.

I had some trouble with the SF spot because Shawn was such a versatile player on both ends but his lack of shooting and ballhandling were deciding factors for me. I'm putting this team together for right now and I'm going with as many shooters as possible. I think our trio of SFs now is as good as it gets in terms of shooting offense/defense. I originally had QRich here because of his 3s and swag/toughness and smallball 4 potential, but I think Kelly's versatility wins out and he brings the same swag/confidence plus elite athleticism which I felt was lacking overall. Cam's the assassin who's playing the 4 right now and Bubble Bridges is a 2way stud.

Cliff and Manning are ideal 4s in today's game. Barkley's an all-timer and I'd like to think he'd extend his game out to the 3pt line. It's hard to keep that kind of talent off any all-time lists. Cliff and Manning got the nod over Frye, but he's on the cusp. Even looking at Manning's stats, he wasn't a 3pt shooter at all which surprised me but I think he'd make the adjustment. I was really tempted to take Frye over him because of 3pt shooting but Frye and Cliff would be redundant and I'd rather have Cliff's defense.

Chambers and TimThomas are really 4s who would be stretch 5s today. Cliff and Manning maybe see some time at the 5 as well. Ayton, for his flaws, is still a legit 7footer who's 20/10 and can be a 3pt threat. We could go small, traditional or big, everyone's a 3pt threat (sorry Matrix and GHill) and we have defensive versatility throughout the lineup.

Best defensive lineup - Kidd, Majerle, Bridges, Cliff, Ayton?
Best offensive lineup- Nash, Book, JJ, Barkley, Chambers?
Best traditional lineup - Kidd, Joe Johnson, Cliff/Manning, Barkley, Ayton?
Best small lineup - Nash, Book, JJ, Cam, Barkley?
Best big lineup - JJ, Majerle, Cliff, Chambers, Ayton?

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Re: All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

Post by O_Gardino » Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:42 am

I forgot about Danny Manning.
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Re: All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

Post by Mori Chu » Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:00 am

ShelC wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:27 am
Nash, Dragic, Kidd
Book, Joe Johnson, Majerle
Bubble Bridges, Cam, Oubre
Cliff, Barkley, Manning
Tom Chambers, Tim Thomas, Ayton

...

I had some trouble with the SF spot because Shawn was such a versatile player on both ends but his lack of shooting and ballhandling were deciding factors for me. I'm putting this team together for right now and I'm going with as many shooters as possible. I think our trio of SFs now is as good as it gets in terms of shooting offense/defense. I originally had QRich here because of his 3s and swag/toughness and smallball 4 potential, but I think Kelly's versatility wins out and he brings the same swag/confidence plus elite athleticism which I felt was lacking overall. Cam's the assassin who's playing the 4 right now and Bubble Bridges is a 2way stud.
Really stunned that you picked our entire SF rotation as the Suns' all-time SF list. I do like the way they've played, but leaving off guys like Marion is pretty tough IMO. I wonder what specialsauce thinks of your lineup :lol:

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Re: All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

Post by ShelC » Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:11 am

I know, I know. Matrix was a tough one and I'm still on the fence about it. I just think his individual offense was/is such a liability and would only be more of a problem today. Our trio now really does it all, even if the sample size is so small.

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Re: All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

Post by Mori Chu » Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:17 am

ShelC wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:11 am
I know, I know. Matrix was a tough one and I'm still on the fence about it. I just think his individual offense was/is such a liability and would only be more of a problem today. Our trio now really does it all, even if the sample size is so small.
The thing is, it's easy to forget how absolutely transcendent prime Marion was at everything other than pure shooting and playmaking. I know those are two big and important areas of the game, but Marion was an absolutely ferocious defender and rebounder, he was great on the fast-break, he could play in the pick-and-roll, he had a perfectly nice collection of midrange floaters and little jumpers that he would hit reliably, and he had lots of nice moves around the basket. He would get 18-20 points a night with zero plays being run for him. I still think he'd do that today. And then he would take a few 3s here and there, not with the best form, but he'd hit them at a decent percentage, enough to keep people honest. In his prime (05-06?) he hit 33.1% of them, and he had a stretch from '01-'08 where he hit .393, .387, .340, .334, .331, .317, .333, .347. Not a long-distance gunner but perfectly tolerable. You can put Marion guarding anybody from Chris Paul to Anthony Davis and he'll do you proud.

I just think he brings too much to the table. He was a phenomenal talent and did so many things well.

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Re: All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

Post by Split T » Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:40 am

Marion was one of my absolute locks
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Re: All Time Suns Team(Modern Game)

Post by ShelC » Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:41 am

I definitely remember how good he was and how important he was to our team and system. But lowish 30s isn't really that great and he wasn't keeping defenses all that honest with his outside shot. And his rebounding came from his athleticism, not from boxing out and bodying guys up. It wasn't just on him, but a number of more traditional bigs would go off for big rebounding games against us while he was guarding the 4spot. So while he was guarding those guys and did an admirable job, he was really overmatched. Maybe it'd be different today with smaller 4s more similar to him in terms of height and weight. But with Bridges we get defense and shooting, Cam we get shooting and an emerging off the dribble game, Oubre we get slashing, shooting, and similar athleticism. I just like the offensive games of those guys more than Shawn's 20-10 ability and defensive versatility.

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