Phoenix Suns head coach Frank Vogel continues to add pieces to his rotations as the season progresses, doing so in small doses. We last saw this with the insertion of Nassir Little, who has played the last seven games, with the Suns winning all of them.
Little is now one of the Suns’ best defenders and has continued to impress with getting to the rim and hitting timely three-pointers. With Kevin Durant missing the last two games and Bradley Beal still not able to see the floor, Little has come through at some of the most impressive times to help Devin Booker man this win streak.
This is why the Suns wanted Nassir Little— Brendon Kleen (@BrendonKleen14) November 23, 2023
You can't teach this level of force and athleticism, and he's the only wing on the roster who has it pic.twitter.com/JId59PM9Uu
Now that Little is a fan favorite and will likely not be a DNP for the remainder of the season, unless it is due to an injury, who is next? Who will break into the rotations and shake things up for the better?
Chimezie Metu is next.
I doubt I am the only one who sees the good in Metu, but I believe he can play valuable minutes this year, and he might not have a choice. Coming off of his fourth game played in a row, he finally got a couple of three-pointers to go down in big situations for the Suns Sunday night against the New York Knicks.
Even with the three fouls, Metu made an impact, grabbing four rebounds, along with eight points in the Suns thrilling 116-113 victory.
Before Sunday’s game against the Knicks, Metu was 0-4 from three, but I knew his shot would soon see the bottom of the net. His release is too high and too perfect for him to be this cold. His size and length are one thing, but for a 6’9” power forward, you don’t expect him to have the range he truly has. The confidence in his shot is there, but will he get the playing time to raise his 3-point percentage?
This all comes down to his opportunity on the floor and if there is enough playing time to go around. The Suns have players like Grayson Allen, Eric Gordon, and (at times) Josh Okogie who are physical and can scare the defense with their ability to finish in multiple ways around the rim. Metu shows he has the power and the quickness to cut behind a defense, catching them off guard for a free dunk, like below.
Chimezie Metu BIG-TIME throwdown pic.twitter.com/s95647PkgD— Suns Nation (@SunsNationCP) November 23, 2023
With Drew Eubanks missing last week’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Metu stepped in and played a little over 15 minutes, he only had three points and two rebounds in a 21-point blowout victory. It was a great warm-up game before facing the Knicks.
The Suns needed Metu Sunday night against the Knicks more than ever and you can see that Coach Vogel is starting to work him into the rotation.
Can he stay and will he stay? Yes. Even if KD returns to full stride and takes back his share of minutes, it is nice to know that Metu is ready and can give KD a breather or two. Injuries this early in the season are only good for this reason. You can see what else you have and who else is deserving.
Do you think Metu will remain in the rotation upon KD’s return or will he be subjected to more DNPs?