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Daily Poll - Suns bench

Over the last couple of weeks and certainly the last few games, Alvin Gentry has featured his bench more. Guys like Dragic, Tucker and Dudley are getting non-garbage time minutes and Lopez stepped in for Shaq when he sat with foul trouble recently.

While expectedly raw and obviously not "starter quality" they all seemed to step up and perform well. Much better then we've seen from Suns end of bench reserves for a long time.

They are all very different players and are coming at this from a different starting point in their careers.

Dragic and Lopez are rookies with little experience vs Tucker and Dudley being 2nd yr players. They are asked to do very different things on the floor with Dragic and Lopez being the most exposed due to their roles.

Dudley is the most experienced of the bunch by far. He's played in 126 NBA games vs. 46 for Robin, 40 for Goran and 24 for Tucker. He also plays an off the ball position that has allowed him to be aggressive and display his hustle with much less risk then the others. This, along with the loss of Amare, has earned him more minutes and therefore made him the most impactful of the group.

[Note by Phoenix Stan, 03/17/09 4:18 PM MST ]

Our friends at Sports 620 KTAR did a bit more digging and added this:

Since Gentry's promotion all of these players, except for Lopez, have seen their minutes and points per game increase, most notably Dragic and Dudley's.

Dragic's playing time increased from nine minutes per game to nearly 13 while his scoring average increased by two points as well. This was supposed to be the norm as Nash's minutes were supposed to go down the entire season. Prior to the All-Star weekend break Dragic had scored more than 10 points in only one game the entire season, and that happened in a preseason game. Since the change Dragic has surpassed the mark three times and nearly did it again against the Warriors last Sunday when he notched nine points for the Suns.

Looking at Dudley's numbers is like seeing night and day between his play before and after the coaching change. Dudley's playing time has more than doubled, and the forward's scoring has increased by nearly three points a game. Playing for Porter, Dudley scored five or more points one time; with Gentry, the former Bobcat has done that nine times. The sharp contrast is not clearer than in the immediate games before and after the break. On Feb. 11 Dudley scored four points, got two rebounds and zero steals while playing seven minutes for the Suns. On Feb. 17 Dudley more than tripled his previous game's playing time as he helped the Suns earn a win over the Clippers with six points, eight rebounds and five steals.

Of course it should be noted that a lot of Dudley's increase is a result of Amare's eye injury

The question of the day is, which of the four do you think is most important to the Suns future?

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