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Shannon Brown could flourish in Phoenix

Hello World!

This could be the best of times for one Slam-dunking phenomena Shannon Brown.

The 26-year old Chicago-native recently signed a 1-year, $3.5 million deal with the Phoenix Suns and his insertion into their drastically changed lineup could mean great things for the athletic combo-guard.

For one, Brown plays a little defense.  Something Suns’ guards of the past, besides Raja Bell, have proven allergic to.

After playing two-plus seasons with the NBA-championship contending Los Angeles Lakers, Brown knows a thing or two about the demands, and ultimate, importance of gutting it out on that end of the court.

The 6-foot 4-inch off-guard also has earned a wealth of experience playing in big games.  His two championship rings are sure to help inject a healthy bit of confidence into a Suns’ lineup decimated by free agency.

Last season Amare Stoudemire‘s departure created a void that no one team could easily fill in just a year’s time.

For Brown though this season may be more about the return to just playing the game and having the opportunity under Suns’ Head Coach Alvin Gentry the opportunity to do just that.

In L.A. players were asked to run, at times, a very controlled system.  A system predicated on spacing, player movement and attention to detail.

All good things, however, with basketball many times the micro-management of offenses and defenses takes away from the freedom the game was meant to be played with.

Finding that fine line between hierarchical execution and trusting freedom are what the tremendous coaches and players attempt to attain every year.

For what its worth Coach Gentry has adamantly tried to cross that line.  But his personnel, one could argue, has not been on his side over the last few seasons.

The 2011-12 NBA season, albeit shortened, may finally prove otherwise.

And Shannon Brown’s ability to defend and finish in transition could go a long way in that end.

After dealing with an unengaged Vince Carter and an unpredictable Mickeal Pietrus, the Suns, at least for now, will get a glimpse of a two-guard capable of utilizing his athletic ability on more than one side of the court.  And after playing two-plus seasons for the great Phil Jackson, won’t have any issues with the high demands of a solid coach.

Yes, we know Shannon can dunk the basketball.  But this season he has something to prove.  Can he win without Kobe, Pau, Artest and Bynum?  Is he more than just a transition player?  Is there more to his game than just dunking and spotting up?

No one knows the answers to those questions yet, but one thing is for sure; with the vacancies in Phoenix’s lineup Brown has the opportunity to flourish.

Jared Dudley, an admirable all-around player, will share a budding competition for minutes with Brown; Josh Childress  will surely also get in the mix.  But at the end of the day both Dudley and Childress can play some small forward as well leaving even more chances for Brown.

Adding to that, Aaron Brooks departure to China due to the prospect of an extended lockout leaves an even more glaring opportunity for Brown backing up veteran Steve Nash.

Now granted Brown is no natural point, however he does have the ability to run the position.  Considering this season with the crammed schedule Nash may take some nights off, a pairing of Telfair and Brown running the offense may not be so unusual.

Regardless of how it plays out, get ready to see more of Shannon Brown’s game than you may have ever seen in an NBA uniform.

And, of course, more dunks.

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