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
Goran Dragic aka "El Dragón"
Weekly Stat Averages:
Minutes: 35 Points: 18.3 FG%: 42% 3FG%: 38% Rebounds: 3.6 Assists: 7.0
What else can be said about Goran Dragic at this point? The guy is having a fairytale-like season, so much so that some national media pundits like Bill Simmons are naming him to the All-NBA first team along the likes of players such as LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Seriously, how impressive is that?
Equally impressive is the fact that Goran Dragic averaged (only) 18 points and 7 assists this week, and that's what most fans now consider to be a bad week for him.
So if he had a (relatively) bad week, why is he on this list? Simply put, it's because Dragic continues to be the heart and soul of this team. After Gerald Green exploded for 25 points in the 3rd quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night, and then went cold in the fourth, it was Dragic who stepped up and took over to lead the team to victory. Without Dragic stepping up in the fourth quarter, the Suns don't get one of their best wins of the season.
That's what star players do, and Dragic is without a doubt in that category now.
Gerald Green aka "Salsa Verde Caliente"
Weekly Stat Averages:
Minutes: 35 Points: 30.3 FG%: 50% 3FG%: 58% Rebounds: 5.3 Steals: 2.0 Assists: 2.7
Remember that player who bounced around the league for six years, and who ended up in Phoenix after the Suns agreed to take on a "bad" contract as part of the deal to send Louis Scola to Indiana? What ever happened to that guy?
I've never seen him in uniform this season. Instead, I've seen one of the most electrifying, incendiary players in the game continuously step up and knock down huge shots to lift the team and rally the fans. Gerald Green has become, in my opinion, the most surprising player in the entire league. Not only has he proven to be a quality starter when thrust into that position in the absence of Eric Bledsoe, he has become one of the Suns' biggest offensive threats.
Green had the best game of his life on a night when the Suns' needed it the most...scoring 41 points against the Thunder to help propel the team to one of the biggest wins of the season. But this is hardly a fluke. He's scored more that 20 points in 18 games this season, most of which have been since becoming a starter.
The best part? Green seems to be getting even better as the season goes on. He's averaging 22.8 points per game post All-Star break, compared to 14.2 before. If Green can continue to produce even close to this level once Bledsoe returns, the Suns will be a real force to be reckoned with in the post season.
Markieff Morris aka "El Monstruo"
Weekly Stat Averages:
Minutes: 28 Points: 18.0 FG%: 56% 3FG%: 50% Rebounds: 6.0 Steals: 0.6 Assists: 2.3
The Suns have so many great story-lines on the team this season that it's sometimes difficult to fully appreciate them all. Once such story that may be getting lost among all of the excitement surrounding the Suns' success is Markieff Morris.
Markieff was drafted by the Suns with the 13th pick in 2011. Over the past three seasons, he's had a very inconsistent game...showing flashes of potential only to be followed with horrible games and long stretches of mediocrity. However, this season something has changed. Markieff has suddenly become one of the best bench players in the entire league, and is in discussion for the "Sixth Man of the Year" award.
Keef has transformed his game from a stretch-four in previous seasons to an inside banger and shooter, and it is paying off BIG. While he can still knock down the occaisional three, and does so at a much higher percentage than seasons' past, he is showcasing his lethal mid-range game and his post moves, both of which give the Suns' an added dimension and help the offense score, even when the tempo slows down.
This week was no different. Markieff once again stepped up and helped give the Suns consistent and effective play, while playing starter's minutes. Keef's stat line tells the story...but at the same time, it's been his consistency that may be the most impressive thing about his play in my opinion.
So who do you think deserves to be named the "Suns' Player of the Week"? Vote in the poll below and explain your choice in the comment section.
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