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Shavlik Randolph: A Phoenix Suns Retrospective

Join me in looking back at the fabulous Phoenix Suns career of Shavlik Randolph.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As you all know by now, the Suns traded Shavlik Randolph yesterday.  Who they traded Shavlik Randolph to and what they traded him for are entirely irrelevant and frankly if you ask you're not just disrespecting me you're also disrespecting the memory of Shavlik Randolph's illustrious Phoenix Suns career.

The 6'10 veteran big man out of Duke first came into our lives on March 1, 2014 when the Suns released human sloth Slava Kravtsov to make room for him.  The general idea at the time was that Randolph would be able to aid the Suns young frontcourt in their push for the playoffs - or something like that.

Randolph was on the Suns roster for the final 24 games of the 2013-14 season and in that time you'd have to say he was present -  in fact he definitely existed.

OK to be fair he actually did have a couple decent moments including his debut when he played 10 minutes, his 2nd game where he played 14 minutes against the Clippers with Miles Plumlee out with a knee injury, and the time he played 13 minutes against Portland (the Gerald Green self alley-oop game) including a 3rd to 4th quarter stretch which saw the Suns turn a 6 point deficit into a 7 point advantage.

And I've just listed 3 of the 4 times Shavlik Randolph played double digit minutes for the Suns in the 2013-14 season.

Most Suns diehards were surprised when the Suns elected to guarantee Randolph's contract for the 2014-15 season but that's exactly what they did last July.

In October, the Bright Side community was buzzing with the news that Shavlik Randolph had theoretically added a outside shot to his limited repertoire. This lead to a lot of people saying some insane shit about how he should be in the rotation as a stretch big.  Here just check for yourself.  I think at some point people were even suggesting he start.  October was a crazy time.

To the surprise of nobody rational, none of that happened and Shavlik Randolph continued sitting on the end of the Suns bench and being the first dude to clap on made baskets and high five everyone during timeouts.  This was an invaluable contribution.

Sure sometimes he played during blowouts this season (18 minutes in a 112-88 rout by Oklahoma City and 11 minutes in a 122-96 romp over the Sixers) but his real value was in being a downright swell guy who once owned a parrot.

But since we live in a cruel world full of cruel people like me, let's look at Shavlik Randolph's statistical contributions in Phoenix:

  • 30 games and 196 minutes played.
  • 13/39 from the field (33%), 11/21 from the free throw line, and 0/4 from 3 (this is 0%).
  • 51 rebounds, including 19 on the offensive end.
  • 4 assists, 7 steals, and 3 blocks.
  • Infinity stolen hearts.
  • 37 total points.

Because I'm a profoundly bizarre individual I went back and watched every single one of his 37 points as a Phoenix Sun.  Free throws are boring so I'm going to rank all 13 of his Suns baskets.  You know, for reasons. I've included links so you lucky jerks can rank all them buckets for yourself.  My criteria is whatever I want it to be.

(1) March 28, 2014 v. New York Knicks (View here)

  • With the Suns leading 109-83 late in the 4th quarter. Archie Goodwin drove and Shavlik did a legit fancy reverse layup in the Suns blowout win. Major bonus points because it was all over Bryan Gibberman's favorite player ever. Some would go on to call it the greatest move in NBA history. All who wouldn't are wrong.
(2) March 30, 2014 @ Los Angeles Lakers (View here)
  • The Suns were trailing the Lakers 59-40 late in the 2nd quarter in what would be one of their worst losses of the season but in a moment we all remember, Shavlik Randolph caught the ball on the wing, took Chris Kaman off the dribble, hit a layup and got fouled. He made the free throw. Sure Chris Kaman had 28 points and 17 rebounds while the Suns got crushed by a bad Lakers team - but that Shavlik move!
(3) October 29, 2014 v. Los Angeles Lakers (View here)
  • In the 2014-15 season opener, the outcome was in doubt until Shavlik Randolph took a post entry pass from Tyler Ennis, then drilled a fall away baseline jumper over Robert Sacre. That jumper extended the Suns late 4th quarter lead from 22 to 24 - in related news I've decided an outcome is in doubt until Shavlik Randolph puts you up 24 with less than 2 minutes left.
(4) March 4, 2014 v. Los Angeles Clippers (View here - it's the 3rd one)
  • As referenced above, the Suns were without Miles Plumlee for this March contest (it was the one where the Clippers outscored the Suns 37-18 in the 3rd quarter to erase a decent sized Suns lead) so Shavlik filled in with backup minutes. On this play, Gerald Green drove the lane and dropped the ball off to Randolph for a dunk after Glen Davis foolishly went to help on Green. This would be the only dunk out of his 13 baskets and cut the Clippers lead to 11 early in the 4th quarter.
(5) November 22, 2014 @ Indiana Pacers (View here)
  • Phoenix was putting the finishing touches on a rout of the Pacers when Isaiah Thomas dumped the ball into the post where a waiting Shavlik Randolph went to work on whatever Shayne Whittington is and hit a floating layup in front of the basket. Shayne Whittington probably hasn't been heard from since. Someone should check on him.
(6) November 28, 2014 @ Denver Nuggets (View here - 1st one)
  • This game was almost never competitive as the Nuggets smoked the Suns, but had a huge bright spot with 5 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter when Shavlik Randolph faked a three, drove to the basket and leaned in on Jusuf Nurkic for a 10 foot jump shot. Jusuf Nurkic has since become really good - I credit all of his progress to the lessons taught to him by Shavlik Randolph on a lazy November night.
(7) April 6, 2014 v. Oklahoma City Thunder (View here)

  • Late in the 1st quarter of a huge late season win over the Thunder (this was not the one where Gerald Green went nuts, it's the one where PJ Tucker got that awesome 4th quarter rebound), Gerald Green drove a missed a shot in the lane but Shavlik Randolph cleaned up with a tip to extend the Suns lead to 3. Reports suggest Derek Fisher was so shaken by this that he retired from the NBA. He's now the coach of what I believe to be some sort of developmental basketball squad.
(8) March 2, 2014 v. Atlanta Hawks (View here)
  • They say you never forget your first - and that's definitely the case with Shavlik Randolph's first basket as a Phoenix Sun (that's what they're talking about, right?). In this instance, Goran Dragic drove the lane and dished to Randolph who rose up and...kinda sorta laid it in.
(9) December 14, 2014 v. Oklahoma City Thunder (View here - 1st one)
  • This game sucked (the Suns lost by roughly 4 million) but Shavlik Randolph hit a long two from the top of the key. This would be higher if he'd have been about a quarter inch further back but major points for truly trying to replace Channing Frye by having his foot on the line.
(10) March 4, 2014 v. Los Angeles Clippers (View here - 1st one)
  • In the first quarter of the game referenced in (4) above, Goran Dragic drove the lane and had his shot blocked, but Shavlik Randolph was there to clean up the rebound and lay the ball in. Bonus points for the rebound.
(11) November 28, 2014 @ Denver Nuggets (View here - 2nd one)
  • Another offering from this after Thanksgiving ass-kicking, this time with the Suns trailing 122-95, Tyler Ennis missed a driving layup but Shavlik tipped it home like he was some sort of garbage clean up man.
(12) March 4, 2014 v. Los Angeles Clippers (View here - 2nd one)
  • Yes - Shavlik Randolph had 3 baskets in this game so this one is ranked low because I'm fatigued from his many baskets against the Clippers. On this one, which was the possession immediately before (4) - yes Shavlik Randolph once scored consecutive baskets for the Suns - Dragic dished to Randolph under the basket for another almost dunk.
(13) December 14, 2014 @ Oklahoma City Thunder (View here - 2nd one)
  • Earlier in the gross blowout in Oklahoma City, with the Suns trailing 96-71, Tyler Ennis hit Randolph with a nice pass in traffic and Shavlik hits a shot a couple inches from the basket and drew a foul on Nick Collison. He missed the free throw.

Bravo to anyone who watches all of these and double bravo to anyone that fights with me over it.  Realistically all 13 made baskets should have been ranked first.

I'll miss you Shavlik - I wish I had appreciated all 13 of your baskets more.

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