Bring on the new season and let us get ready to watch the development of the Phoenix Suns young core. Notably- Mikal Bridges, Deandre Ayton, and Cameron Johnson in addition to the already-incredible Devin Booker.
We are still waiting on the final word between Ayton and the Suns confirming his contract extension as of Sunday. Also, Bridges who is well deserving of an extension is in the same situation as Ayton. When the extensions are signed, I am sure that both players will be relieved but if they are still not signed heading into the season, I am not too worried that it will effect their play on the court.
Bridges, like a Devin Booker, looks like he will be continuing to add things to his game. Johnson is trailing just behind him and both players can lead the team in progression.
Tracking what the the Suns players are working on as the games go by and minutes are played, the winning will be there this season, but I want to look at the little things added to the players game.
The title is “Floor Flashes” but it will most likely change. It is still pre-season for me.
Three pre-season games deep, Bridges is already showing a readiness to handle the ball more. Last year, he reached limits in what he could do with the ball. With belief from teammates and coaches and a work ethic that transitions to the court, all the hype is real.
It is nothing too drastic, but the way Bridges has been handling the ball this pre-season, he isn’t second guessing himself.
The play below shows that he can gather himself around the perimeter and drive to rim with control of the ball. The nice little dump pass to Ayton for the floater shows that he does not have tunnel vision and understands where his teammates are.
Overlooking the contract talk, you even get confirmation from Ayton that the ball handling skills from Bridges as noticeably gotten better.
Deandre Ayton addresses contract talks, saying he's "disappointed" a deal hasn't gotten done and he wants to be respected like his peers as ESPN reported last week contract talks were stalled over getting rookie max extension. #Suns pic.twitter.com/XVtj06fojN— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) October 12, 2021
I pray that Ayton follows Bridges in improvement on the floor. I am already getting sick to my stomach thinking he might not.
Cameron Johnson looks like he is playing with ants in his pants, and is on the move off the ball and blending well with the second unit, where he will most likely start the season. Running off picks using his quickness and size, it will be hard for opposing defenses to stop.
Ready. Johnson is just ready to do whatever it takes to improve. He is already getting familiar with new addition JaVale McGee who might be spending a lot of time with him on the court.
This regular season assessment will note the following:
- How many times does the player go back to the play/ movement on the court?
- Do we like it? More importantly, did Suns Broadcaster Eddie Johnson take notice and what were his thoughts?
- Did it look like a mistake or was it drawn up that way?
- Was there a reaction from coach Monty Williams? Did the player get pulled after the play?
- Where are they at in the comfort zone? 0%-100%
- Have an idea? leave it in the comment section to get picked up.
I will continue to add little reactions to the things we are seeing from the development of these players. This will also include plays made by Cameron Payne. Not really a young core piece, but he has a lot to offer and some competition now with new faces joining the Suns.
And also Jalen Smith. It would actually be exciting to keep him just to watch him grow and hopefully be surprised every night he gets minutes in what he can show us.
It will be interesting to watch and track how these players develop through the season, heading into the playoffs.