Coach Dave Miller's scouting report on the Suns

Before every series, players are given scouting sheets to supplement film and other work done in practice to help prepare them for the opposition. As an assistant to Byron Scott in New Orleans, coach Dave Miller was responsible for producing such reports, and then to help make sure they make it to a player's gray matter. Below, you'll see an example of a typical personnel report, what Miller might have given the Lakers were he on Phil Jackson's staff.

"I would have handed this out at the first practice after winning Game 4 in Utah," he says.

From there, coaches will go over the details and gauge absorption during the days before Game 1. How much guys actually internalize the material varies by player, but the best guys, Miller says, go well beyond what's handed to them. "The guys who get minutes, they pay attention. I've had guys in the NBA who will read it, learn it, and then come to me and say, “Hey coach, this guy does X or Y.” And they're right, and I’ll add it to the report. Kobe Bryant doesn't need this. This could maybe be a refresher course for him, because he's a student of the game."

Of course, none of us is Kobe, so the information below is quite handy when it comes to understanding the players L.A. will face starting Monday, and it's an interesting peek inside the preparation process for players and coaches in the NBA. Miller describes this sort of report as "meat and potatoes." Coaches try initially to boil things to the most important information, since (particularly against a team like Phoenix), a player will need to know the tendencies for multiple players on the opposition, if not all of them.

As more film is broken down, coaches will hand out DVDs to players, and continue to add chapters to the scouting book as the series goes on.

Click below to see the report...


6'3" 178 Steve Nash

Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

Our scouting report of Nash and Stoudemire: They're, like, good and stuff.

2-time MVP, Floor general...Loves to push it and/or probe...will also pitch ahead to wings & rim runners

Can score...Loves in/out dribble

Looks to create in pick & roll...can pull up for jumper or finish at the rim

Excellent passer...Excellent FT shooter

Has nice floater in the paint

Amazing offensive player but Average defender but will fight over screens just based on his toughness

Shooting 51% from the field...46% from 3...89% from the FT line in the playoffs

  • LOCATE in transition and stop the ball...PICK UP EARLY!

  • Make him come back to receive the ball...Can not let him get a head of steam crossing half court

  • Stay squared...Keep in front...No paint penetration

  • Make him shoot over the top of us

  • Keep him off the free throw line

  • Don't over HELP

  • We must wear him down: Make him work!

6' 6" 225 Jason Richardson

Very Athletic...Very EXPLOSIVE...Runs the floor...Will leak out...

Slasher...Driver...Awareness of back cuts for LOBS

Be aware of him on the weak side wing when ball is swung...looking to get to RIM!

Is a VOLUME SHOOTER...with deep 3 range...(Question his shot selection at times)

Dominate right hand driver

Very good offensive rebounder

On LEFT BLOCK: uses rhythm dribble & jump hook over left shoulder

Shooting 51% from the field...52% from 3 in the playoffs

  • MUST LOCATE IN TRANSITION...(watch for leak outs)

  • Stay down on his shot fakes...Stay between him and the basket...No direct line drives

  • Pressure him as a ball handler...NOT a playmaker

  • Help side defense look to take CHARGES

  • Contest all shots, but don't foul. Volume shooter. Keep him off the line.


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Non-scouting report value added Grant Hill information: Outstanding piano player, good left hand.

6' 8" 225 Grant Hill

Veteran smarts...still very skilled...High basketball IQ

Good handles...good passer...great decision maker

Wants to put the ball on the floor, pull up

Not as athletic anymore...but knows how to get his shots...plays efficient

Very good finding teammates off of penetration

Loves to drive left and cross over back to his right

Will shoot the three, especially from the corners

Still an excellent perimeter defender

Still rebounds

More efficient with jumper from middle to left side of the floor, colder to the right...

  • Locate in transition

  • Still plays the passing lanes quite well

  • Drive him to rim and make him guard you

  • Don't foul good free throw shooter

  • Block Out

6' 10" Amare Stoudemire

EXPLOSIVE PLAYER...Extremely ATHLETIC! Quick jumper...Long reach

Wants to attack rim and DUNK as much as possible

From the wings and elbows will drive favoring right hand

Will catch in post, when he gets it almost always shoots- can be a black hole

Have active HANDS...struggles to pass with pressure... turnover prone

Has inside pivot face up move...

Will leak out in transition so the bigs must run with him

On the blocks he likes to back you down and remember prefers right hand

WATCH him rolling for lobs after he sets middle or sideline pick & rolls

Goes after every rebound (HIT him FIRST when you put a body on him)

Most looks come in the paint, but shooting range is effective all the way to the 3 point line. Mid 40% from 10-15 feet, can hit from 16-20

  • Locate in transition...Meet and greet and allow NO early or deep post ups

  • Make him work for everything (We must fight his touches)

  • Look to TAKE charges on him

  • Protect middle...Push him baseline when you can

  • Defend straight up...if he gets started DOUBLE on the post catch


6' 11" 250 Jarron Collins

Fundamentally sound big who will set solid screens

NOT offensively minded... will take charges, looks to disrupt your offense

Has decent hands

Slow footed...and finds himself in foul trouble when up against quicker offensive players

Limited back to basket game...will face up and shoot free throw line jumper

Position rebounder...can hold ground and uses long arms to rebound

Lacks lift inside on second jump

Struggles to score versus physical defenders

Low percentage offensive option, even inside... don't overplay, don't send to the line


  • When guarding him, be prepared to be a help defender

  • When the shot goes up, FIND HIM and BLOCK OUT

  • Run him and look for early rim run scores

  • Make him guard you in the post

  • Allow NO initial deep post ups

6' 11" 245 Channing Frye

Long...Good athlete...NOT a great athlete

He is a perimeter player first and foremost

Stretches the defense to give Stoudemire all the room in the world to operate

Looks to trail the break and get a shot in transition

Will pick & pop (stay attached)

In the 1/2 court will spot up for shots

Uses his length defensively...has active hands...alters shots

Averages more than five 3 balls a game, second most on the team, 44% during regular season

  • Locate him in transition and give NO open shots!


  • Close out with high hands taking away shot first

  • MUST be physical with him!

  • CONTEST ALL SHOTS and block out...long shots produce long rebounds

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If Louis Amundson rises to shoot a jumper, that's probably a good thing.

6'9" 238 Louis Amundson

Very ACTIVE offensive rebounder...brings great energy into the game

He gets most of his points off offensive tips & rebounds

Almost all his shots are at the rim... away from the basket, he's no threat to shoot

Uses his athletic ability to score...would like to dunk everything...plays extremely HARD

Foul prone

Wants to block shots

More ORB per 48 minutes than anyone else on their team in playoffs and regular season

  • Must exceed his ENERGY level when entering the game

  • Put a BODY on him every shot...KEEP HIM OFF THE GLASS!

  • Can not let him contribute!

6'3" 202 Leonardo Barbosa

Very versatile...Can play the 1,2,3

May be the fastest end to end player in the league

Quick first step...good ball handler

Looks to score

Uses pumpfakes

Spot up shooter with 3 range...has slow set up and release

Righty, but loves to go LEFT

Has very quick hands - PROTECT your dribble

Decision making often questionable, turnover prone as a guard... stay in front and make him make choices

  • LOCATE in Transition

  • Have an AWARENESS of him all night

  • Can score in bunches: Don't let him get started

  • No direct line drives

  • Stay down on his pump fakes

  • Look to take charges

  • Attack him offensively...struggles to defend physical aggressive offensive players

  • Much better weak side defender where he has great timing for STEALS

6' 7" 225 Jared Dudley

Brings unbelievable ENERGY off the bench...sparkplug of the 2nd unit

Can score in bunches...does all the little things...dives on loose balls

Makes things happen on sheer hustle & DETERMINATION

Could become an excellent 6th man in this league

Offensive rebounds

Plays like a junkyard dog


He's like a SWISS ARMY KNIFE > does a little bit of everything!

Can score effectively without having plays called for him

Deadly from right corner for 3... 7 of 13 from that spot in playoffs, only four attempts from left corner

  • Locate in transition

  • Exceed his energy level


  • Beat him to all loose balls...Keep him a non-factor

6' 3" 190 Goran Dragic


SHOOTER! Had a 23 point 4th quarter vs. Spurs

Does a little bit of everything

Has played well in enough minutes to eventually replace NASH

Does not look as ATHLETIC as he is...will finish at the rim and has 3 ball range

Will defend!

Big leap from last year to this year, and must be taken seriously.

  • Locate...

  • Pick up early and pressure

  • Have an AWARENESS of him all night...Contest all shots

  • Be there on the catch

  • Limit his paint penetration...stay down on his pivots when he is in the paint