It might feel weird to say, but where would the Phoenix Suns be without Torrey Craig?
This evening against the Brooklyn Nets, Devin Booker will make his long-awaited return, therefore Torrey Craig will give up his starting position. Craig has been a stabilizing factor in Phoenix’s inconsistent lineup this season.
At the beginning of the year, it was understood at Torrey Craig would be the backup forward/wing for Phoenix. Yet nine games into the season, newly crowned starter Cameron Johnson injured his meniscus and opened the opportunity for Craig to start.
He has been starting ever since.
His stats might not “wow” you. 8 points per game. 5.7 rebounds. 46.1% from the field at 40.7% from beyond the arc. Okay, that last one “wowed” me! Torrey hitting the long ball is valuable. When he makes 4 or more three-pointers, the Suns are undefeated. 4-0, but hey, that’s something.
His most important statistic is his number of games started. Craig has started 43 games for the Suns this season, trailing only Mikal Bridges (55) and Deandre Ayton (46) for total number of games started. He is also third in total minutes played this season, behind those two. Coming into the season, he was expected to be somewhere around 9th or 10th in minutes played.
Craig’s best performance this season was his 20-point performance in a victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on January 22. He added 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks in that game.
Craig now returns to the role in which he was brought to fulfill. James Jones traded for Craig last season, the second time in as many seasons, to provide depth at the power forward position, providing length to the team, and some veteran leadership.
Devin Booker‘s return means the Phoenix Suns will put forth their original projected starting lineup. It is a lineup that has only played 67 minutes together as a unit and has the best plus/minus of any Suns lineup at +43.
Torrey Craig, thank you for keeping things together, providing quality basketball, and putting the Phoenix Suns in the position they are in as they prepare for their postseason push.