Amare Stoudemire complained about Porter's offense in an interview published last week, and yesterday Porter voiced his frustration with the entire team after a lackluster practice. From Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic:
"In the locker room!" coach Terry Porter bellowed. "Everybody!"Porter didn't reveal the exact details of his locker room talk, but he did tell reporters afterward that he's contemplating a change. Up until now the team has put an emphasis on slowing the tempo and establishing the post, which is a huge departure from the free-flowing offense of the past. Slowing the pace has helped the defense (they're allowing 5.3 fewer points a game) but not as much as it's hurt their offense (they're scoring 9.5 fewer points).
Off they went, silently and obediently, bracing for the conversation ahead.
It was an impressive show of authority from the new man in charge. It was prompted by a shoddy practice before the team left for New Orleans but could've been directed at any number of nuisances, from the dissenting voices in the locker room to the recent and reckless comments by Amaré Stoudemire.
Instead of forcing the issue, Porter admitted he's inclined to once again let Steve Nash be Steve Nash, allowing his trusted point guard to create as he sees fit instead of pounding the ball inside. Will this help put Stoudemire at ease?
Only time will tell, but I think it will. Shaq may lose a few touches, but Stoudemire thrives in an up-tempo offense. And even if Porter doesn't want to admit it, keeping Stoudemire happy should be a huge priority -- the Suns' long-term success hinges on Stoudemire deciding to re-sign in 2010 just as much as Cleveland's hinges on LeBron James.