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Stephen’s Scout: Grayson Allen nail-ing the margins in Phoenix

Grayson Allen’s shooting and ability to use IQ within the Suns spacing unlocks a unique layer for them to exploit defenses — on sustainability — in an important manner.

Phoenix Suns v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns acquisition of Grayson Allen provided immediate mixed feelings. At the surface level, many — understandably so — immediately pivoted to the moments that were distasteful.

If able to look deeper, you see a player — still ripe with potential — who is solid in a few areas the Suns need players to be. Among those entities of the game, are his ability to space and knock down three’s playing off of star players. He did so in Milwaukee, playing off Antetokounmpo, Middleton, and Holiday.

Coming into Saturday’s game, he was 52% from deep via 5.0 catch-and-shoots per game. Over the last few seasons:

  • 2022-23: 41.4% on 3.6 attempts
  • 2021-22: 40.1% on 4.7 attempts
  • 2020-21: 39.9% on 4.1 attempts

He’s good with IQ in his spacing, manipulating it to stretch rotations of a defense and give himself the opportunity to get his release odd before the closeout arrives in effectiveness.

Notice Allen’s IQ and feel on display, above.

From sequencing his timing of movement with shooting off that activity, sinking all the way to the deep corner. This was very impressive, aided by a good offensive process in “Pistol flare,” an action (Pistol) they should use far more often.

Tons of movement here, but another astute “sink” to the deep corner from Allen — playing off the drive and paint touch from Booker.

Little things like this, and the ability to do so at the pace he moves at in relocation, and efficiency in finishing, are just what the Suns need in that role.

Allen again, one pass away, puts defenders in compromising situations. After Zoom action on the outer third, we see Allen simply patient and executing in the advantage that the Suns' movement + shooting presents.

Lastly, another standstill play.

This one is off Durant’s gravity with the ball in his hand. Nonetheless, the quick release and ability to make defenses pay is again on full display.

Lastly, here we see him re-space to one pass away, off a Durant post-up.

Makes the defense pay yet again in the advantage.

Execution off of the Nail

Notice on multiple days above, he’s executing off the nail help provided by opposing teams.

That specific ability, nailing the marginal entities and dynamics of secondary guard play for the Suns — especially above the break — is an entity that can upend teams defensive schemes, as their shell responsibilities will always lend to help in stopping a middle drive — especially if it’s Booker/Durant/Beal driving.

Bringing this dynamic to the Phoenix Suns — especially in a bigger guard frame with abilities and intangibles that bring value elsewhere — is extremely relevant to the Suns desire to layer their rotation.

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