Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Our past 11 games: What if we kept Marion?

Our record has been 5-6... What would it have been had we kept Marion?

Game 1: February 20th, vs Lakers -- Loss
With Shawn Marion in the lineup, the Suns went 1-2 against the Lakers, sans Gasol. And Andrew Bynum didn't even play in the lone Suns win. I think we can still notch this one in the loss column. 0-1

Game 2: February 22nd, vs Boston -- 1\2 win, 1\2 loss
Now this is a tricky one, isn't it. Boston appeared to have played one of its worst games of the season in this sloppy contest. On the other hand, Phoenix's defense did look more secure as a result of the slow pace and the presence of Shaq. This would have been a tough win with Shawn Marion. I'll give them half. 0.5-1.5

Game 3: February 24th, vs Detroit -- Loss
Given the way the Pistons were playing and have continued to play, I can't imagine the Suns turning around the game that officially set off the Shaq-disaster alarm bells, even with Shawn Marion AND Shaq on the team. 0.5-2.5

Game 4: February 26th, at Memphis -- Win
Win. 1.5-2.5

Game 5: February 27th, at New Orleans -- Loss
With Shawn Marion in the lineup, the Suns were 0-2 against New Orleans. This game was the 2nd half of a back-to-back. Tough loss. 1.5-3.5

Game 6: March 1st, vs Philadelphia -- Win
This was probably a good example of a game in which Shaq's wasn't able to help the Suns, and his lack of integration hurt them. I'll give the Marion Suns this win. 2.5-3.5

game 7: March 4th, at Portland -- Win
Considering the 3 days rest the Suns had before this game, and the fact that the Suns have been a perennially excellent road team -- 3.5-3.5

Game 8: March 5th, at Denver -- 1\2 win, 1\2 loss
This was a game in which Marion's athleticism was sorely missed, and the best reason not to worry was because it was the tail end of a back-to-back. As such, statistics forbid me to grant the Suns a full W on this one, so I will split it. And dealing with decimals is getting really annoying. 4-4

Game 9: MArch 7th, vs. Utah -- Win
The Suns were 1-0 against Utah with Marion in the lineup. The Suns' loss to Utah came with Marion and Nash sitting out, and it was a blowout. Oops. I'll still give us this home game after a day of rest. 5-4

Game 10: March 9th, vs San Antonio -- Loss
Phoenix was 1-1 against San Antonio with Shawn Marion in the lineup. In the Suns victory, Marion had 9 pts and 6 rebounds. The Spurs were missing Tony Parker in both games. Any Suns fan has to believe, after watching Tim Duncan go 6-19 and score only 17 pts, that Shaq was a key factor in this win. 5-5

Game 11: March 11th, vs Memphis -- Win
Win. But the win with Shaq was pretty impressive too. 6-5

6-5. If you accept this breakdown, then the Big Experiment has cost the Phoenix Suns 1 game in the western conference standings. Agreed, every game matters, but I'll sacrifice 1 game if the team continues to jell and improve.