Scouting the Suns: Steve Nash’s decision looms

By Quixem Ramirez

Apr 14, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris (11) gets fouled while shooting against San Antonio Spurs forward Tiago Splitter (22) during the first half at the AT

The other Morris twin is averaging 9.2 points and 4.7 rebounds this month.

Offensive rating: Spurs – 110.9 (1st), Suns – 106.5 (9th)Defensive rating: Spurs – 103.1 (11th), Suns – 106.5 (23rd)Pace: Spurs – 92.7 (7th), Suns – 92.4 (8th)Time: 9:30 p.m.TV: FSSW, ESPN

Three things to watch

Phoenix eliminated from playoff contention. With their 12 point loss against the Utah Jazz in the books, the Suns are officially eliminated from playoff contention. It was a valiant effort for a team that relied on a 38-year-old point guard to initiate the entire offense because they sorely lacked players that could create their own shot. Their individual talent isn’t up to the standard of the Jazz but, collectively, their roster, awkward composition aside, competed every night. They pretty much maximized the expected value of their team and then some. Considering they are the 27th oldest team in the league, Phoenix’ season should be commended. Moral victories don’t count in basketball but it’s refreshing to see a team outperform their expected output by such a wide margin.

Steve Nash free agency. One of the most excessively loyal players in basketball will face a tough decision on July 1st, when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. There have been some murmurings that Nash is willing to sign with the Miami Heat but I sincerely hope he doesn’t. I would like for Nash to stay, in an ideal world, but I fully realize that his odometer is nearly empty and his hands are devoid of any hardware. It was a nice eight-year run for Nash’s wildly entertaining SSOL Suns but that might come to an end tonight. And if he stays, I’ll respect his loyalty even though Phoenix doesn’t deserve a player of his caliber after they damaged the core of a potentially dominating Suns team.

Insignificant basketball. Ugh. Don’t expect this game to provide anything of actual value. Sorry ESPN. If we are lucky, the Spurs may provide the national audience a delicious treat of ball movement and execution.

Final verdict. Spurs win. For the time being, I’m done with specific predictions. Mostly because I’m always wrong and I have no idea who will play tonight.