With a week dominated by the news of the Phoenix Suns parting ways with head coach Alvin Gentry, and the admission that the team will begin focusing on developing their young players, it's difficult to focus on the performance of the individual players during the two losses that took place before hand.
Still, even with everything still up in the air, the Suns will continue to push forward as they try to find the right mix of personnel to make the best out of what looks to be a dire situation. Even if their post-season hopes are all but gone at this point, the Suns still have a number of young players they may want to evaluate with extended minutes in the coming months to see what they have going forward.
When the dust finally starts to settle, the coaching staff and front office will be looking closely at who is helping the team, and who may be holding them back. Here's a look at this week's player rankings the way I saw them:
1. Marcin Gortat
Weekly Average: 13 points, 10 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.5 blocks in 37 minutes of play
Gortat had an awesome game against the Thunder scoring 19 points and grabbing 15 rebounds against Kendrick Perkins in 46 minutes of play. Although he wasn't nearly as effective against the Milwaukee Bucks (Only 7 points and 5 rebounds in 29 minutes), he still played well enough overall to hold onto the top spot.
2. Shannon Brown
Weekly Average: 20 points, 4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.5 steals in 36 minutes of play
Brown had a very good week, especially when filling in for the injured Jared Dudley in the starting line-up against the Thunder. Brown went 17-33 from the field overall, but also got to the basket more for some nice dunks that we haven't seen nearly enough of lately. When Brown is playing well, he's a game changer. Let's hope it continues.
3. Jared Dudley
Weekly Average: 13 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals in 32 minutes of play
Dudley did not play against the Thunder due to a sprained wrist, so his stat line comes off of only one game against the Bucks. Still, Dudley continues to show his versatility and ability to help the team in a variety of ways.
4. Luis Scola
Weekly Average: 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assist in 30 minutes of play
Scola continues to provide the Suns with veteran savvy and hustle, and has become one of the most consistent mid-range shooters on the team. What Scola lacks on the defensive end of the court he makes up for with his crafty play and sure-fire jumpers from the top of the key on offense.
5. P.J. Tucker
Weekly Average: 5 points, 4 rebounds in 24 minutes of play
Tucker continues to give the Suns all of the intangibles that simply don't find their way onto a stat sheet. He did a pretty good job of at least containing Durant while guarding him, which is no small task.
6. Markieff Morris
Weekly Average: 3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1 block, 1 steal in 16 minutes of play
Morris hasn't been efficient from the field on offense (3-12 for the week), but I'm really liking what I'm seeing from him lately. He is fighting and hustling for rebounds, getting into the passing lanes, and challenging the opposition in the post. Morris is doing a little bit of everything out there and helping the Suns much more than his stat line is letting on.
7. Goran Dragic
Weekly Average: 10 points, 2.5 assists, 1.5 rebounds, 1 steal in 31.5 minutes of play
Apparently Dragic has been hindered by a sore ankle which has supposedly hindered his play as of late. Well, let's hope that's the issue, because Goran has been anything but the Dragon fans have expected him to be. Not only did his scoring and especially his passing take a huge hit, but he was outplayed by both Westbrook and Jennings who posted stats of 36/5/8 and 16/4/5 respectively. I'm willing to give Dragic the benefit of the doubt though, for now, but he's got to get it going again, and soon.
8. Sebastian Telfair
Weekly Average: 9 points, 1.5 assists, and 2 rebound in 19 minutes of play
Telfair shot the ball much better overall this week (6-13) but his passing and play-making took a step back as he averaged just as many turnovers as he did assists. Still, Telfair is doing pretty well as a back-up and leader of the second unit.
9. Michael Beasley
Weekly Average: 9.5 points, 7 rebounds in 20 minutes of play
Beasley once again had a fairly decent game against the Thunder scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 boards, but he was disappointing against the Bucks scoring only 5 points on 2-10 shooting and managing to corral only 3 rebounds. Still, Beasley is showing at least a little improvement, and I'm still hopeful he can eventually find a way to make a positive impact on this team on a consistent basis.
10. Jermaine O'Neal
Weekly Average: 7 points, 4 rebounds in 15 minutes of play
O'Neal was out with back spasms against the Thunder, but returned against the Bucks and seemed to play relatively well in his limited minutes. O'Neal isn't sitting at the bottom of the rankings again this week due to poor play as much as he is for a lack of impact...which isn't really his fault with being injured for one game and playing limited minutes in the other.
So there you have it...Feel free to voice your opinion in the comments below!