Nothing will test the NBA’s prevailing trend [PHX] more than the perfection of orthodoxy [Spurs].  The only way to beat the Suns is to field a lineup that can defend their playmakers straight-up.  Even the most well-oiled defensive rotation can’t possibly keep up with the speed of the Suns’ offense.  You may have the best help defenders in the league, but at a certain juncture in a PHX possession, something will beat you.  It might be a sinuous ball reversal into the left corner – which has been left open because your best weak side defender collapsed on a penetrating Nash.  Or it might be an open cutter because you decided to trap Barbosa off the S/R because…well…what are your options?  Let him breeze by your big man untouched?   The simple truth is that a basketball can outrun a human, which leaves an opposing team one viable option:  Good old-fashioned stay-at-home man-to-man defense that says to PHX, “if you can beat us with James Jones 20-foot jump shots, then we bow down to your schematic supremacy and gladly accept our $177,579 for appearing in the Conference Semis and will now report to a tropical destination that has all the charms of a boutique hotel but with the facilities of a five-star resort. “  

The Spurs will throw a couple of different looks at PHX as they did against Denver.  But even playing straight-up man against the Suns, the San Antonio defense is insanely difficult to penetrate against.  But as well as they hold down the block, the Spurs’ transition defense anticipates playmaking before it happens.  I’m not suggesting that PHX will have trouble scoring against San Antonio, but there will be stretches in this series in which the Suns will actually have trouble finding open looks.   Against a team like the Spurs who place a special premium on limiting its exposure to uncontested shots, that’s just natural.