Suns offense struggles in opener

Dec 27, 2011, 9:26 PM | Updated: 9:40 pm

In the Steve Nash era one issue you never had to worry about was the Phoenix Suns’ offense.

Might this be changing right before our eyes?

In Monday’s opening night loss the Phoenix Suns fell to the New Orleans Hornets 85-84.

Since Steve Nash has been on the Suns, 2004-05 season to the present, their record in games when they have given up 99 points or less is an incredible 175-23 – a .88 win percentage.

Head coach Alvin Gentry isn’t panicking about the offense yet.

“I think we got very good looks,” said Gentry. “Grant had three wide open looks, Channing had three or four wide open looks, Dudley had three or four ones that we’re very capable of making. The biggest concern I thought was we didn’t shoot the ball well.”

Newly acquired shooting guard Shannon Brown echoed his coach’s sentiments.

“[Monday] we were a little out of sync,” added Brown. “You can’t really base and judge everything off that one game.”

In a way Gentry and Brown are correct. It is way too early in the year and would be unfair to say the Suns’ offense will struggle all season like it did Monday night.

On the other hand, even though it has only been one game, there is a real reason for concern.

Outside of Steve Nash, Phoenix has no one who can create for themselves on the perimeter.

Jared Dudley, Grant Hill and Shannon Brown attempted 29 shots and only five of them came at the rim.

From ten feet and back, the Suns’ wingmen were three for 19. When you become a team who relies upon jump shots, nights like Monday are bound to happen.

The answer to the Suns’ issues offensively most likely isn’t on the roster. Instead of finding a two-guard who could create his own shot in the offseason, Lon Babby and Lance Blanks chose to invest around $11 million in Hill, Sebastian Telfair and Shannon Brown on one-year deals and keep future cap flexibility.

If Phoenix doesn’t come away with a player who they can build their team around next summer that could end up being a decision they really regret.

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