Meet the Suns: Defensive Juggernauts

by April 22, 2010

OK, so not really. But Phoenix’s reputation as a defense-averse team becomes less and less credible with each passing game. The AZ Republic reports: “For those who defend the name of the Suns defense, it may be safe to come out of hiding from the years of ridicule. The Suns have a full season’s work to prove they are better defensively. After finishing 22nd in the NBA in defensive field-goal percentage last season, they were 12th this season – their best finish since landing 12th in 2001-02 when Shawn Marion, Stephon Marbury and Penny Hardaway patrolled the perimeter. They also have submitted postseason evidence. Amid the offensive overflow of Game 2’s 119-90 rout of Portland that tied the series at 1, the defensive change from Game 1 was as important. ‘We played physical,’ said forward Grant Hill, likening the Suns’ fight to a Jan. 28 win against Dallas that started a 28-7 close to the season. ‘We played hard. We played tough. We played with grit.’ The 2004-05 Suns actually had a lower defensive field-goal percentage (44.5 vs. this season’s 45.2) but that team did not finish as strongly this team.”