Mainly to Red: I'll reply to your post(s) later; I haven't had the time or brain power to do them their justice in understanding and responding to them.
I'll quickly reply to unloopme, though, since I was probably going to include this analysis in regard to Red's post:
What teams are very effective without an effective distributing PG/playmaker, and some high % perimeter shooters?SSOL is SOL without high % perimeter shooters and an effective distributing PG.
*Note the sudden emergence of a legitimate starting PG coinciding with the team's sudden emergence.
Celtics -- Rondo
Thunder -- Westbrook
Bulls -- Rose
MIA -- Lebron
Mavs -- Kidd
Spurs -- Parker
*Grizzlies -- Conley
*76'ers -- Holliday
And those teams, especially the best ones, have either placed a premium on having top of the line outside shooters with range and currently have them on their squads...*or*, they desperately desire having such shooters, to solidify their ability to win a championship.
Nobody criticized Spoelstra or Thibs for falling short, and having weak outside shooters being a major role in that.
That's the GM's job.
Just like Saver, during the Suns' championship window, notoriously tightened his pockets (and traded *away* talent). And thus, the Suns' never had a legitimate starting C on their team. Unless you want to argue a way past his prime Shaq, who fit the *team* (not the coach, not the system, but the TEAM) as poorly as a player could.
This can carry over into a "Why didn't the Suns ever win a chip?" The same reason many people or teams in sports do not win titles and championships, despite them being absolutely good enough to do so.
Randomness and variance (which you can simplify and call "luck"), plays a role in sports, just as it they do at a poker table.
The fact that MDA's Suns had such repeated success over large sample sizes during the seasons, and were put in such excellent positions *to* win is what you can -- and should -- base the approaches' validity upon.
Saying they weren't a "tough enough" team is just a rationalization. That they didn't have good enough D is a great point; having better D would have vaulted the Suns' chances to winning those titles and being unstoppable.
But that they legitimately were razor thin margins away from toppling that Spurs dynasty, and were certainly good enough and coached well enough to beat them, can't be denied.