The Phoenix Suns are a great team, but I really think that their recent trade for Shaquille O'Neal hurt them a lot more than helped them. A Lot. Losing one of the best forwards in the NBA is going to be a huge blow to the Sun's forward core. The Suns', obviously, have a superstar center in Amare Stoudemire averaging 23.2 points per game, 9.3 rebounds per game, and 59% field goal percentage. Grant Hill, the Sun's starting small forward, has really been the one consistent forward that the Sun's still have this season averaging almost 15 points per game. Brian Skinner, Shaq, and even Boris Diaw have all been very inconsistent this season leaving a huge hole in the Suns' lineup.
That is my first concern with this team's playoff chances - if they meet a team with strong forwards they could get dismantled. My other main concern with the Phoenix Sun's is the very, very thin roster. When (and if) Shaq gets healthy then the Sun's will be lucky to have a seven or eight man rotation and in a long playoff series fatigue could play a factor.
Outlook & Predictions: I think Steve Kerr, Suns' General Manager of Basketball Operations, and the rest of the Phoenix Suns franchise will find that they should have kept Shawn Marion as this team ends the season 53-29 as the #5 seed in the Western Conference, and loses to the New Orleans Hornets in the first round of the playoffs.