The Phoenix Suns finally snapped their losing streak with an impressive win on the road against the Chicago Bulls last night. Still, despite ending on a high note, this wasn't a very good week for the Suns who went 1-4 overall, and at times appeared to be on the brink of a total collapse.
However, there were still certain players who were giving their all and trying to keep the team competitive even when things were looking bleak.
Here's a look at this week's player rankings the way I saw them:
1. Marcin Gortat
Weekly Average: 11 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks in 35 minutes of play
Gortat is quietly playing consistent and efficiently even while the Suns continue to struggle. Although Dudley is getting most of the attention it seems for being the Suns most consistent player as of late, Gortat is impacting the game in a variety of ways and averaged a double-double for the week which is good enough to get the top spot.
2. Jared Dudley
Weekly Average: 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists in 35 minutes of play
Dudley had another really good week, and really could be considered as a tie for first place with all that he does for the team. Even when he struggles to score (like going 6-17 against Boston) he finds a way to make an impact (like his 10 rebounds in the same game).
3. Luis Scola
Weekly Average: 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assist in 29 minutes of play
Scola is becoming one of the main faces of this team now. I'm not really sure if that's a good thing or not, but there's no denying that he is one of the most consistent and efficient offensive players on the team, and also does a pretty good job at rebounding for a guy who can't jump. Another very good week for Luis.
4. Goran Dragic
Weekly Average: 12 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal in 31 minutes of play
Dragic seems to be struggling a little more than his stats let on, and I think it has a lot to do with his frustration with his teammates and in losing so many games. I do believe Dragic would register more assists with better shooters and scorers around him, but he's not shooting the ball very well either...and that's all on him.
5. P.J. Tucker
Weekly Average: 7 points, 4 rebounds in 25 minutes of play
Tucker is now a starter on the Suns...whodathunkit? It just goes to show how important consistent hustle and effort are, and how rare of qualities they are in your average NBA player. Tucker's stats certainly don't reflect his importance to the team, and they never will, but the guy battles out there every night and seems to be trying to improve offensively as well.
6. Markieff Morris
Weekly Average: 6 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assist in 18 minutes of play
Morris is quietly becoming our best bench player these days and seems to be doing a much better job of scoring inside rather than taking long jumpers. More importantly, Markieff is defending well, getting his hands on the ball, and blocking shots. I don't think he gets as much credit as he should, but he's been playing pretty darn well lately even though the team has been struggling.
7. Sebastian Telfair
Weekly Average: 6 points, 2 assists, and 1 rebound in 16 minutes of play
Telfair is struggling with his shot lately (going 7-19 on the week), and the second unit has also struggled with him running the point this week. Let's hope he gets back to being that spark off the bench that helped the Suns so much earlier in the season.
8. Shannon Brown
Weekly Average: 9 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal in 22 minutes of play
Brown has been very inefficient offensively (16-44 overall for the week) and his three point shooting continued to be awful (1-5), but thankfully he stopped attempting so many of them this week. However, what really hurts the team is his lack of defense, and his tendency to try to bring the ball up-court rather than letting Dragic run the offense...which more often than not results in a bad possession. Brown can do a lot of things to help this team if he can just learn to play within himself.
9. Michael Beasley
Weekly Average: 7 points, 3 rebounds in 10 minutes of play
If not for last night's aberration against the Bulls (and yes, it will remain an aberration until he can string together more than one of these games every couple of months), Beasley certainly would have been at the bottom of the list once again. One game does not change things, but let's give Beasley credit for at least having one good game this week and helping the Suns to beat a very tough opponent on the road that nobody thought they had a chance against.
10. Jermaine O'Neal
Weekly Average: 4 points, 3 rebounds in 12 minutes of play
O'Neal has really been struggling as of late and I'm not sure what the cause is. He was staggeringly inefficient in the low post for the week going only 8-24 overall...yuck! And while offense certainly isn't his main focus, he has to be able to convert at a higher percentage when shooting between 0-10 feet from the rim. More importantly, his defense and rebounding has also regressed. Let's hope this was just a bad week and not a sign of things to come.
So there you have it...Feel free to voice your opinion in the comments below!