Center of the Sun: Have The Suns Found Rock Bottom?

Rob Carr

As the Urban Dictionary details, the definition of Rock Bottom is: A state of being wherein you feel as if you cannot sink any lower emotionally, psychologically, or physically. Have they found their rock bottom?

As a professional basketball team you cannot make everyone happy, but this past week the Phoenix Suns (22-45) made a portion of their audience very happy. In doing that they went 0-4 losing games by wide margins and inching themselves lower and lower down the standings, and up the lottery board.

Game Recaps

vs. Denver Nuggets - L (93-108)

@ Houston Rockets - L (81-111)

@ Atlanta Hawks - L (94-107) 93.25-113.25

@ Washington Wizards L (105-127) 373-453

Like we talked about in the Podcast, Jim and I, the Suns had the potential of dropping all four of these games, but with the way they have been playing they could win one. They hit the road after a route served to them by the Nuggets, but then they seemingly lost their offense with customs.

It is always tough to pinpoint the win in a week against three future playoff teams and one destined for the lottery, this week the Suns didn't have that "one game." Normally they find that one game to win one game in a week, but they do have now five losing streaks of at least 4+ games on the season.

Key Stats

Scoring In General

Nobody on the Suns roster averages more than 14.1 points per game and this week was another example of why. There was zero consistency on the offensive end with three different players leading the team in scoring in the four game window.

Of the 16 players that have suited up for the Suns on the season, for at least one game, 13 of them have led the team in scoring. Is that parity or parody?

Leading Scorers By Game
Goran Dragic 14
Luis Scola 11
Shannon Brown 10
Marcin Gortat 10
Michael Beasley 10
Jared Dudley 8
Markieff Morris 5
Wesley Johnson 3
Sebastian Telfair 1
Jermaine O'Neal 1
Marcus Morris 1
P.J. Tucker 1
Kendall Marshall 0
Diante Garrett 0
Hamed Haddadi 0
Luke Zeller 0

The chart above shows that the there has been some parity in the teams scoring as evident by the fact that 13 different people having led the team in scoring. Winning teams do not have that same parity, they have players that go out there and display consistency scoring the ball, but the Suns have a parody of that.

The Highs

Jermaine O'Neal rejoined the team after being bedside at a hospital in Boston taking care of his daughter who had to unfortunately have heart surgery. He arrived back in the valley a few days before the team hosted the Nuggets, but sat that game out to get back in shape, both physically and mentally. Having a healthy daughter and basketball as a home remedy to get back to reality was just what the doctor ordered for the Suns defensive enforcer.

The Lows

As Seth detailed here, the margins on the season for the Suns have been erratic and unacceptable at best. The team has been losing games by a wide margin and winning games in battles. This week they played four games and were outscored by an average of 20.0 points. It was not pretty.

Grades

A look at three different players on the Suns for the week forming a good, bad, and a surprise either way each week.

  • A- for Goran Dragic: Against four quality point guards this week The Dragon was out-played overall by the law firm of Lawson-Lin-Harris-&-Wall.
  • D+ for Wesley Johnson: He started off the week on fire leading the team in scoring getting points inside the three-point line and pacing the offense, but was a non-factor in the last two games.
  • C+ for Marcus Morris: In his first eight games on the team Marcus was getting 9.3 PPG 3.5 RPG on 50% shooting (52.9% from three), but has seemingly regressed in the last four at 6.25 PPG 1.5 RPG on 47% shooting (42.8% from three).

Player of the Week:

Jared Dudley - 10.5 PPG 2.5 RPG 2.25 APG 47% FG (42.4% 3PT)

Moving to the bench was nothing new for Dudley as he has been in-and-out of the starting line-up all season. Since moving back to the bench he has been one of the teams more consistent contributors averaging 12.5 PPG 2.5 RPG 2.7 APG on 53.7% shooting in six games. Four of those games were this week as Duds paced the offense off the bench. There really isn't a "Player of the Week" when you go 0-4, but Dudley was not part of the reason the team was losing games. He was a bright spot.

Previewing the Week Ahead:

Monday, March 11th vs. Los Angeles Lakers (36-32)

Wednesday, March 13th vs. Washington Wizards (23-42)

Friday, March 15th vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (23-41)

Saturday, March 16th vs. Brooklyn Nets (38-28)

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