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Langston Galloway is the bench spark the Suns need

Phoenix’s bench underwent an immense improvement during this year’s offseason. Langston Galloway is proving to be one of the many reasons why.

Phoenix Suns v Utah Jazz Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

LG’s (Lucky Goldstar, or better known with the tagline “Life’s Good”) company website lauds its newest smartphone as “tough as nails, flexible” and “truly cinematic.”

This is the quintessential descriptor of one of Phoenix’s newest members: Langston Galloway.

“LG” would be an apt nickname for the battle-tested, sharp-shooting vet.

And Galloway’s had his repertoire on full display in the Suns’ first two preseason exhibitions.

His first outing as a member of the purple and orange was a doozy: he erupted for a team-high 17 points in 16 minutes (a whopping display that netted him a surplus of a point-per-minute average), and followed that stellar showing with a calmer (but still productive) 14-point night.

The 17-point performance in game one LED all scorers, which is notable enough considering the other names that fill out the Suns’ roster. Factor Galloway finishing eighth on the squad in minutes played, and you have a sultry recipe ready-made for litanies of spectator eye-pops and head-turns.

Galloway, like an LG smartphone, showed the breadth of his “tough as nails” disposition. According to Lazarus Jackson from SB Nation’s Detroit Bad Boys site, Galloway and former Pistons’ teammate Bruce Brown were two of the best on-ball defensive stalwarts in the organization.

Galloway was oftentimes tasked with slowing down opposing competitors’ prime offensive weapon from the guard spot. In fact, he secured the team’s third-best place-hold (112.1) for defensive rating amongst qualified guards – behind Brown and Luke Kennard, according to Second Spectrum.

And that’s a quality that will only swell in his practice time as he faces consistently off with one of the league’s most potent marksmen in Devin Booker.

He played an A-list starring role in his team’s deep-range montage compilation during 2019-20 as well, which dwarfed the fortitude of his lockdown defender’s badge in comparison to the impressive expertise he flashed from beyond the 3-point arc.

Galloway could be counted on to sink home a clutch bomb at any given moment (as evidenced by his near 40% 3-ball ratio), and head coach Dwane Casey was rarely distressed by a deep attempt hoisted from #9’s hands.

Galloway – now donning the number 2 for his new troupe, has not undergone a shrinkage in shooting lethality despite the smaller jersey number.

He looked comfortable and fluid as ever through the double-entendre vs. the Jazz – a rarely-ceasing floor runner who creates havoc for opponents trying to slow his onslaught.

Watching him play is an energy-exhaustive pursuit, and just as defenders struggle to keep pace with him endurance-wise, so too is it an active exertion from a viewer’s standpoint to follow his lengthy travel exploits up and down the court.

He’s a sleuth ducking and diving around off-ball screens from bigger teammates:

And where he lacked in opportunities to create plays for himself in isolation and one-on-one’s in Detroit, he’ll certainly suffice for substantially in Phoenix.

So far he’s made the most of those chances, using a cunning handle and sneaky quick first step to get to the rack, or rise and pull over the outstretched arms of defenders.

And the more he capitalizes on prospective lead-guard chances like these, the less Monty Williams will question who to apportion alpha duties to off of his bench.

We’re just two games into the preseason (yes I know), but right now Galloway is checking all of the boxes he needs to in order to earn Williams’ trust.

Tough as nails? Check. Flexible? Double check. Cinematic? I’d say watching his big-screen exploits thus far has netted superb reviews. Checkmate.

Langston Galloway could be the steady bench scoring guard the Suns so evidently lacked last season. If he does fill that role, life will surely be good in the Valley as long as he’s around.

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