Are the Phoenix Suns Still Equipped to Play Run-and-Gun Basketball?

Roberto Payne@@HouseofPayne555Contributor ISeptember 21, 2012

Mar. 16, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Shannon Brown (left) drives to the basket against Detroit Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey at the US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Pistons 109-101. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

When Steve Nash was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, the last player from the previous Run-and-Gun era was gone. The sole coach left from that team is now the head coach, Alvin Gentry.

The team will never run quite as much as they used to, but could they implement a similar offense for this season?

To properly assess if this Suns team can employ Run-and-Gun 2.0, the roster and coaching philosophy need to be analyzed.

For this system to succeed, the point guard has to have solid court vision and be a quick decision maker. That's what made Steve Nash so well-equipped to set up everyone on the fast break, as he could make all the passes in an instant.

Current point guard Goran Dragic is certainly quick enough for the Run-and-Gun, but his decision making might be a problem. His ability to get out in transition and make the right passes depends on how far he's developed as a passer since his first stint in Phoenix.

If his run with the Houston Rockets last season is any indication, Dragic should do fine.

Next, the point guard (Dragic in this instance) needs athletic running mates who will take off after both misses and makes. The kind of players who can catch and finish the point guard's passes.

This roster has a couple plus athletes (Brown, Johnson, Morris), but not quite as many as previous Phoenix teams had. The other guys are more hustle players (Dudley, Scola, Frye), which should be fine as long as they get up the floor and finish.


Down low, there has to be a big that can rebound and start the fast break with a strong outlet pass to the point. This spot is easily filled by Marcin Gortat.

Looking at the coaching staff, head coach Alvin Gentry loves to run in transition. The problem in using a Run-and-Gun offense is lack of defense.

Gentry has been a huge advocate of increasing the attention to detail on defense, and this system might undermine his defensive beliefs.

In the end, this Phoenix team has the players and the head coach to implement a Run-and-Gun 2.0, but probably won't for long periods of time.

Regardless, any Run-and-Gun system wouldn't be nearly as effective as previous Mike D'Antoni versions, but it might be better suited for spurts.