"The reason why we didn't win a title in Phoenix is because our defense wasn't good enough," D'Antoni explained. "That's a fact. That's a fair, critical assessment of our team. I was there. I know that was the problem. But here's the thing: Did anybody really think when we started that we were going to win the title? They had us not making the playoffs, then we won 62 games. Well, I understand our defense needed to be better, but at the same time we were maximizing our talents, what we did best, and we won 62 games.
"The only thing I hate -- and again, I know this sounds like an excuse -- is how folks forget that Joe Johnson broke bones in his face and the third year, Amare [Stoudemire] comes back from his injury, but the hip-check incident [with Robert Horry and Steve Nash] takes place, prompting the suspensions, and we ultimately lose that series.
"So now, believe me, I understand where folks are coming from. I know we need to continue to get better defensively. I've got to do a better job of getting them to hone in. If I do it, all this noise will go away."