Suns' General Manager Steve Kerr has mentioned that the team has officially been in evaluation mode over the last eight games, and the results -- a record of just 3-5 -- have to make you wonder if he's considering making some changes. Even though the Suns are currently leading their division, they have a record of only .500 versus teams in the Western Conference, and since their expectations are to get to the Finals, that's simply not going to get it done.
There just isn't the same vibe around this year's version of the Suns as there has been in previous seasons. Everything seems to be a struggle, and even the wins aren't coming as easily to a team with (arguably) the most uptempo style of play in the league. So Kerr is looking to see if he can make any improvements, but the problem is, he would look to add defensive help, and a defense-first player may not fit into coach Mike D'Antoni's offensive-heavy game plans.
There appears to be at least a peripheral disconnect between Kerr - a staunch believer in defense and depth - and D'Antoni's high-octane offense/tight rotation mantra that will also play a role in the decision-making.
"The last time I checked, we're one or two games off the lead in the West, so I think we're OK," D'Antoni said. "Could we dominate? Maybe, but we're not. Each year presents a different problem."
While Steve Kerr may be looking to make a name for himself in his first year as GM, D'Antoni clearly has been through these early season struggles before (if you consider 19-9 struggling), and is willing to wait to see how his squad develops. It is only December, and it's probably way too early to be hitting the panic button.
D'Antoni does plan to go bigger with his lineup starting tonight against the Clippers, by using the combination of Brian Skinner and Amare Stoudemire to give the team a boost on the interior. Whether or not that will improve the Suns defensively enough to prevent Kerr from making any big changes this season, remains to be seen.