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The Phoenix Suns have gone ice-cold from beyond the arc at a time when they can’t afford to do so

The last three games have seen the Suns drop from the 5th best shooting team in the NBA to the 17th.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Sacramento Kings Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

In their most recent loss at the hands of the Sacramento Kings, the Phoenix Suns were down as much as 29 points. Is that an insurmountable deficit to overcome? History says yes. Only eight teams in NBA history have ever rallied from a 30-point+ deficit to win a game.

We all knew the game was over. History would not be on our side. The Suns’ inability to make three-pointers, which is a “must do” if you want to overcome any deficit, strengthened this point of view. They just can’t hit shots from range right now.

That is where Phoenix is at right now. If they go down 10, you feel like grabbing the remote and changing the channel. You’re hoping that flipping the station will flip your spirits, that watching Elf or Christmas Vacation will make you very merry. You know that it won’t. That you’ll stew in frustration like the Grinch.

You know there’s no way they’re coming back from Phoenix when they get down. They may have two of the best scorers in the league on the roster. But the ancillary pieces that surround them are zeros from beyond the arc. They lack the firepower, and it’s beginning to become a trend, not just a blip. And it’s a scary trend indeed.

This past off-season James Jones was constructing his roster and he had a difficult task before him. Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, and Bradley Beal take up $130 million in cap space. That is more than the entire Indiana Pacers cap figure. That doesn’t leave room for high-quality role-players with complementary skill sets.

Jones pieced the puzzle together, but the result thus far has been average. Like, literally average. The team is .500 through 28 games. Those role players aren’t fulfilling their destiny. They’re standing around, and when they have an opportunity to provide production, they miss.

As a team, the Suns have hit 17 three-pointers in their past three games. That is an average of 5.7 a game. So, 18 points are coming from beyond the arc per game. Those 17 made three-pointers are the least amount of three-pointers made in a three-game stretch by any team this season.

With players like Kevin Durant, Eric Gordon, Grayson Allen, and Yuta Watanabe, there should be no issue making three-pointers, right? They have, and during this three-game stretch, their best three-point shooters aren’t making the shots. Because they aren’t taking them.

From a percentage standpoint, not including Drew Eubanks (he’s 2-of-2 from deep on the season) and Bradley Beal (42.9% from deep, but only 21 attempts and he’s hurt), the Suns’ best three-point shooters this season are:

  • Kevin Durant — 47.3%
  • Grayson Allen — 45.1%
  • Eric Gordon — 39.0%

Durant and Allen were responsible for all 5 made three-pointers against the Kings on Friday night, shooting a combined 5-of-9 (55.6%). The rest of the team (including Gordon’s 0-of-2)? 0-of-16. Over the last three frigid games, they’ve combined for 11 of the Suns’ 17 made threes. They’ve attempted 36 of the Suns’ 80 attempts. Collectively, they are shooting 30.5% from deep. The rest of the team is 6-of-44 for 13.6%.

Devin Booker is shooting 21.1% from deep in those same three games on 6.3 attempts per night.

The question becomes is this a trend or is this just a blip on the radar? You can’t make the shot you don’t take, and the Suns are 25th in the league in three-pointer attempts, averaging 31.3 a night. What does Kevin Young do to revitalize the Suns’ shooting?

They’ll just have to shoot their way through it.

Over their past three games, the Suns are hitting 28.6% of their wide-open three-point shots. If this is the trend, if they are actually this bad from deep, then their fate is sealed. You can’t be this bad consistently in this NBA and win games.

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