In last week's player rankings, the Phoenix Suns were coming off of a two-game winning streak and the team was feeling pretty good about themselves. Oh, how things have changed...
After going 1-3 over the last seven days, this week's rankings find the Suns struggling to find their identity, and their motivation to keep themselves from becoming one of the bottom feeders of the NBA.
Make no mistake about it...this week wasn't pretty. But still, some players were worse than others. I suppose that would be this week's theme more than anything.
1. Goran Dragic
Weekly Average: 13 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals in 27 minutes of play; +2
Dragic had a so-so week statistically, but the only reason he is #1 this week is because technically someone had to be there, even if nobody really earned it. This was just a bad week for the Suns all around, but Dragic was at least productive.
Weekly Average: 12.5 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists in 27 minutes of play; -3
Beasley is probably the only Suns player to have had a "good" week compared to the last one. Although Beasley missed that last lay-up that could have helped the Suns win the game against the 76ers, he was much more aggressive and a better facilitator this week as well...I'll take it. If Beasley can continue to improve in these areas, he could really help the Suns a lot this season
3. Jermaine O'Neal
Weekly Average: 7 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 Blocks in 19 minutes of play; +5
O'Neal didn't have a great week by the numbers, be he has been very solid in his minutes...especially defensively. His solid play even with a strained quad and his effort on both ends of the court is enough to earn him the third spot this week.
Weekly Average: 11 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 blocks in 25 minutes of play; - 2
Gortat was on fire against the 76ers in the third quarter, only to be inexplicably snuffed out by Gentry in the fourth quarter when he opted to go with O'Neal instead. I'm not sure of the reasons, but Marcin seemed to take a good two games to recover from it...As he didn't play anywhere near his capabilities against Cleveland or Detroit. He seemed to snap out of his funk a little bit in the Toronto game, but he still needs to improve defensively as that may be the reason Gentry opts to go with O'Neal in crunch time over the Polish Machine.
5. Luis Scola
Weekly Average: 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists in 26 minutes of play; -1
Scola had a pretty good week coming off the bench, and was a big reason for the Suns' only victory of the past week. Luis seems to be adapting well to his role in coming off the bench, even outplaying his starting counter part over the past four games
6. Jared Dudley
Weekly Average: 10 points, 2 assists, and 2 rebounds in 22 minutes of play; +4
Dudley has continued to do much better in his role off the bench. He had another solid week overall, and is hopefully back on the right track toward returning to his normal self. However, I would like to see more of the snappiness from Dudley that earned him the "Junk Yard Dog" moniker from a couple of seasons ago.
7. Shannon Brown
Weekly Average: 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists in 27 minutes of play; -5
Shannon Brown's game continues to be schizophrenic at times...He can make a dazzling play that makes you say "OOOOOOHHHHH" and then make a terrible decision that makes you curse his name on the very next possession. Brown is at least giving the Suns some much needed athleticism in the starting unit, and if he can just cut down on the bone-headed shots and decisions, he could be a solid starter for this team.
Weekly Average: 6 points, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds in 17 minutes of play; -6
Bassy had kind of a down week. He struggled to run the second unit and defend with the type of energy and hustle that we've seen from him over the past few weeks. But as I said before, this was a bad week for the Suns altogether, so hopefully he'll get back to what he does best.
9. P.J. Tucker
Weekly Average: 1 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 assists in 16 minutes of play; -7
Tucker didn't necessarily have a bad week...He just wasn't nearly the same game-changer we had started to grow accustomed to. He still played solid defense for the most part, but did have more mistakes then usual. He also wasn't able to capitalize on his offensive touches and just wasn't around the ball quite as much. Hopefully Tucker can get back to what we saw from him last week...The Suns need him!
10. Markieff Morris
Weekly Average: 7 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assists, in 23 minutes of play; -8
After earning the top spot in the rankings last week, Markieff flipped the script completely this week and falls to the bottom. Last week I stated that the only question with Morris is whether or not he'd be able to keep up his stellar play and perform at that level consistently. Well, if this week is any indication it would seem the answer is a resounding "No". Prove me wrong Markieff...please.
So there you have it. Feel free to voice your opinion in the comments below!