Reign On Phoenix Suns Players of the Week: The Slash Brothers

Christian Petersen

Since the return of Bledsoe to the starting line-up, the Suns have gone 7-1 over the last eight games, and have taken over the seventh spot in the Western Conference playoff seedings. There's no doubt....the Slash Brothers are back!

The NBA is all about which player and team can rule the court in the most epic fashion and Bright Side of the Sun has teamed up with Crown Royal to rank the best of the best Phoenix Suns players each and every week. Which player(s) ruled the court this week? #ReignOn


The Players of the Week

Eric Bledsoe

Weekly Stat Averages:

Points: 20.0 FG%: 44% 3FG%: 61% Assists: 5.5 Rebounds: 6.0 Steals: 1.75

It's hard to quantify the effect that Eric Bledsoe has on this Suns team with words, so let's look at some of the numbers instead. The Suns were 12-4 with both Bledsoe and Dragic in the starting line-up at the beginning of the season before he went down with an injury. With Bledsoe out, the Suns went 17-16. He also missed six games with a shin injury in late November...the suns went 3-3 over that span as well.

Now that he's back, they are on a six game winning streak going 7-2 overall. The grand tally thus far is 24-10 with Bledsoe vs. 20-19 without him...That's not even counting the handful of games that Dragic missed, which contributed to a few of those losses with Bledsoe in the line-up.

Bledsoe's aggressive style of play on both sides of the court is making a big difference for the Suns. Not only has he helped ressurect the defense, he is attacking the basket and getting to the line frequently, where he shoots a very efficient 80%. In fact, 27% of his total points come from the free-throw line. His 5.3 attempts per game is the 18th best among all players in the league, but only second on the Suns. Guess who's first?

Goran Dragic

Weekly Stat Averages:

Points: 23.5 FG%: 59% 3FG%: 50% Assists: 5.5 Rebounds: 3.3 Steals: 1.5

Goran Dragic has become not only the face of the franchise, but also a top-five MVP candidate this season. Dragic has had a magical season in every way possible.

Dragic is ranked 18th in scoring this season, averaging 20.6 points per game. His passion for the game and willingness to sacrifice his body in order to apply pressure on the opposing defense and attack the rim have been consistent all season long. The Dragon only knows one way to play the game...by giving everything he's got.

Not only is Dragic an incredibly passionate player who lights up the scoreboard on a nightly basis. He is one of the most efficient as well. Dragic is 10th in the league in adjusted field-goal percentage, which also factors in the amount of points per attempt, where he averages .574. If Dragic isn't relentlessly attacking the rim, he's taking efficient three-point shots that he's shooting at an incredibly high percentage. This combination makes him one of the most dangerous scorers in the entire league...and this week was no different.


The Slash Brothers

Combined Weekly Stat Averages:

Points: 43.5 FG%: 49% 3FG%: 56% Assists: 11.0 Rebounds: 9.3 Steals: 3.25

Forget about the "Splash Brothers"...There's a new "Two-Bleded Dragon" in town...and they have become the premier back-court in the league. Although Bledsoe and Dragic can both light it up from beyond the arc, just like the Splash Brothers of Golden State, they have an added dimension to their game that sets them apart.

Remember that stat above that lists Bledsoe at 18th in the league with 5.3 free-throw attempts per game? Well Dragic is tied for 15th in the league with 5.6. They are one of five tandems to crack the top 20 in this category, the others being Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook (1st and 12th), Dwight Howard and James Harden (2nd and 4th), Demarcus cousins and Isaiah Thomas (3rd and 13th), and Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge (18th and 20th.

As you can see, the Slash Brothers are the only back-court duo on the list. Where do the Splash Brothers fall in this metric? Stephen Curry is 38th, and Klay Thompson is 113th.

You may expect the Slash Brothers to have an advantage when attacking the rim...after all, that's where the name comes from. But what about the "Splash" aspect of their games? Surely the Golden State Warrior duo has a considerable advantage in this category...right?

Well kind of...Stephen Curry shoots a very high .417 from beyond the arc, ranking 13th overall, and Klay Thompson is right behind him shooting .410, ranking 18th. However, Goran Dragic shoots a staggering .428 from three...ranking in the top 10 at #9 overall...higher than both of them. Eric Bledsoe is not in their league though. He shoots only .353 from three on the season, ranking 152 overall. You have to wonder if that number would improve with Bledose playing more games...I think it would.

But still, with one of the Slash Brothers leading both of the Splash Brothers in their own category, and the Slash Brothers proving their dominance when it comes to attacking the rim...I know who I'd pick to have leading my team.

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Remember, our readers will also have a chance to receive some Crown Royal swag to help you Reign On, too, on the street, basketball court or just in your living room. More to come soon.

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