Career Year(s)

Jeff Hornacek and his staff have received praise all around the NBA. Whether it's from opponents, correspondents, and even some enemies (I'm looking at you, Chad Ford)-- it is safe to assume that Hornacek has every right to be in the coach of the year discussions. How far as he gone with his crew? I wanted to take a break down and write on how I've noticed how far each player has gone.

Third String

Shavlik Randolph

PHX Stats
Minutes: 10.2 Points: 2.0 Rebounds: 2.0

BOS ('12-'13) Stats
Minutes: 12.4 Points: 4.2 Rebounds: 4.4

The most recent acquisition, Shavlik has definitely been an unknown to me but now I've been shed some light to him thanks to bloggers on SB Nation. With his most recent success coming off of his latest stint in Boston, I've seen his numbers as something that can help The Suns down the stretch. And with any luck these numbers can be improved from the staff, though I'm not going to hold my breathe as I understand his minutes will most likely not rise.

Dionte Christmas

PHX Stats
Minutes: 6.9 Points: 2.3 Rebounds: 1.2

After spending time in the D-League and gaining attention in Las Vegas this last summer, Christmas has been a valuable cheerleader on the side of the bench. I remember initially thinking that his numbers really grabbed my attention over, then, Sun's player Dionte Garrett. It may be considered cheating by including the rookies in this blog but it is a career year either way, even if it's their only professional experience.

Archie Goodwin

PHX Stats
Minutes: 10.8 Points: 3.5 Rebounds: 1.9

Someone recently posted that the stats really don't do Goodwin justice and I agree! There have been two games this season where our rookie has grabbed sixteen points! His hustle is definitely there and these are not even including the numbers he put up when he has been assigned to the D-League. I know that this beginning career year we'll look back at those numbers and laugh as compared to what he'll do in the future.

The Bench

Ish Smith

PHX Stats
Minutes: 15.1 Points: 4.4 Assists: 2.7

Golden State ('11-'12) Stats
Minutes: 10.5 Points: 4.5 Assists: 1.5

Ish is very close to having his career year in a Phoenix jersey, but is not quite cutting it. I find the numbers in Golden State a bit more impressive considering he was used for less minutes. I don't have footage of those previous years, but I wonder if he was such a pesk on defense like he does for us. It's really a shame some of those things don't get documented with statistics. I have faith he can break those numbers and he's earned his time off of the third string in Phoenix.

Markieff Morris

PHX Stats
Minutes: 25.9 Points: 13.3 Rebounds: 5.8

Not to sound hipster over here, but I knew Markieff was gold before MANY of you. When we drafted him I was intrigued and checked his work with the Jayhawks. I thought he was going to be the next Stoudemire. Now it's taken a while for him to gain as much notoriety as Stat, but man is this guy a beast. These numbers have gotten him in talks of the sixth man of the year and I know whenever he gets back in a starting role that these numbers will be broken.

Alex Len

PHX Stats
Minutes: 8.7 Points: 2.0 Rebounds: 2.3

Our number five pick is not looking like a number five pick yet, but you know what? After Anthony Davis's rookie year, I thought he was going to be a bust. Man, was I wrong. I'm not saying that Alex Len will be an All-Star his sophomore year, but he's definitely going to turn these numbers around and get more comfortable playing in the league. We have to cut him some slack because of his injury.

Marcus Morris

PHX Stats
Minutes: 22.1 Points: 10.1 Rebounds: 4.1

Marcus has been in the shadow of his older brother for some time, but I think he's really going to get his groove after next year. Towards the beginning of the season I didn't share the same optimism with Marcus as I did with Markieff, but it's fascinating to see how they are a complete package and both do things slightly different that help compliment one another. He's a solid bench player.

Gerald Green

PHX Stats
Minutes: 28.6 Points: 15.1 Rebounds: 3.4

Halfway in the season I was watching his stats compared to that of New Jersey and was thinking how he was going to barely break those records. Not only did he pass them, but he's PASSED Dragic's numbers in the '12-'13 year. Green has been a lifesaver when Bledsoe went down and I hope he can still post these stats coming off the bench. If he continues, then I view us as having the deepest team in the league.


Eric Bledsoe

PHX Stats
Minutes: 33.5 Points: 18.0 Assists: 5.8

I had serious doubts getting on the Bledsoe bandwagon when he was announced to be here in Arizona. Boy, did he change my mind. Once he went down I thought that this team was going to go for the worst. Now that we've succeeded AND he's going to be returning, I feel that the sky is going to be the limit for this ball club. Hopefully his eagerness to play will increase the numbers even more.

Channing Frye

PHX Stats
Minutes: 28.8 Points: 11.9 Rebounds: 5.2

PHX ('10-'11) Stats
Minutes: 33.0 Points: 12.7 Rebounds: 6.7

You would think that Frye would be competing with his best season from either the 7SOL era or when Gentry had the run at the playoffs, but it's oddly enough the year after that stint. I'm guessing with the departure of Stoudemire, it gave Frye a huge opportunity to try to fill those numbers. However you look at it, he's still posting quite the year and should surpass those numbers.

Miles Plumlee

PHX Stats
Minutes: 26.1 Points: 8.6 Rebounds: 8.3

Sometimes the fans here in Phoenix, especially myself, get spoiled when we get a surprise gift. We got so comfortable at the beginning of the season of Miles scoring a near double double average, that we actually took out the pitchforks when that performance decreased slightly. He's still putting up solid numbers and nearly putting up ten times the amount he did in a Pacer's uniform. He is still the league's most improved player.

P.J. Tucker

PHX Stats
Minutes: 30.5 Points: 9.2 Rebounds: 6.4

What I like about Tucker is he's not as glamorous as the other players. Dragic and Bledsoe steal all the spotlight and Green is guaranteed to have a play posted in NBA's top ten, while people praise about Miles and Frye's stories. Tuckers is dependable and does his job well. His points go under the radar as people focus on the other starters we have. This isn't even factoring the level of defense he plays for our team.

Goran Dragic

PHX Stats
Minutes: 34.6 Points: 20.6 Assists: 6.2 Steals: 1.3

I'm going to safely assume that some of these numbers will go down with the return of his partner in crime, which is perfectly okay but these numbers tell a story in itself. We have a leader who can step up his game when someone else is out. He has taken the burden of heavy lifting with Bledsoe sidelined. These numbers are that of an all-star, MVP, Sun's Ring of Honor, Space Jam 2 sequel candidate, and anything else you can toss his way.


The only anomalies to this blog are Emeka Okafor and Leandro Barbosa. I'd be curious to see if a healthy Okafor would've also had a career year given the opportunity or if his age would have been a factor. Barbie, on the other hand, came from The Sun's glory years and had ridiculous numbers across the board to match. Catching those numbers from his youth would be a hard feat for any coach.

Yet a roster given to Hornacek for a full season was enough time for him to break all of their previous records. And the scary part of all of this? This is just his first year doing it.

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