The argument that Cameron Johnson should take Jae Crowder’s spot in the Phoenix Suns starting lineup could be made, but currently I am not heading in that direction. Before the season started, my belief in Cam taking a larger role on the offense/defensive end was sky high. Ten games into the season things were not looking too great.
In the 10 game stretch, Cam averaged 6.5 PTS, 2.4 TRB, while shooting 32% from three.
My faith in Cam stayed strong and he was able to rebound. In the 10 games prior to the Phoenix Suns hosting the Golden State Warriors Tuesday night, Cam averaged 10.5 PTS, 3.9 TRB and shot 44% from three.
Now, to bring Mikal Bridges into the picture.
The 2-Man Combinations found on basketball-reference.com shows that the both Mikal and Cam as a combo, playing 192:12 minutes together and prior to the Warriors game, leads the team with +22 PTS, +10.8 AST, and a +.08 3PT%. Second combo on the team to average +6.7 STL and +2.9 DRB.
Can these two be seen together on the court even more? Yes, but this thing is more organic than anything. As I stated before, I would love it if Cam was placed in the starting lineup, then again, the intent to do so might not be a good idea. Don’t fix something that isn’t broke, correct?
Jae still brings that leadership to the starting line-up and is a starter. Throwing him on the bench will only shake things up, and probably for the worse.
The Suns do not like to shake things up. The trade deadline last year was observed by the Suns, but they felt something was really brewing here in Phoenix and to take anyone out of the equation would destroy the chemistry and the potential of this team making the Finals. They were of course correct.
How will Cam adjust to the idea of staying on the bench, even if his game soars to another level? Like the rest of the team, knowing their role and sticking to what helps the team is the only option and concern.
It is weird to think, right? That the Suns have a team made of unselfish players just winning games.
Even the young players who would love to soak up the minutes and endorsement deals, stay the course. If there was even a little ounce of selfishness, it would be squandered, or even traded.
Cam might be a role player, and honestly, I am ok with that, but so was Mikal entering his third year. Now we are arguing if Mikal will have a better Suns career over Shawn Marion. Things can get escalated very quickly.
That is the way of the NBA and its fans. A player beginning to change for the better and then quickly, there is the comparison.
What the media thinks, what the fans think, is nothing compared to what the Suns think. They think for the better. Between Mikal and Cam growing into a wing duo unlike any other in the NBA right now, this is the why the Suns are currently superior.
We could look at team like the Boston Celtics and their stars Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum and think that is what makes a team successful. Two stars that are going their own direction in taking their team down the standing. If we learn from what Devin Booker and Chris Paul, now sharing the leagues MVP trophy, Mikal and Cam share the heart and hustle of this Suns team.