I sat in a corner and fought with myself for about 20 minutes deciding whether or not to name this article “Stop shooting threes” or “ trade Jae Crowder”. Crowder has been mediocre this entire stretch and I’ve had it with his incredibly inefficient play. I’ll touch on it more later because trust me he’s getting his own sub-heading. Right now I want to speak on the team as a whole and really dive into this 2-3 start.
Not the start we expected
Is it an understatement to say that we may have started a bit slow. Right now we are boasting a very pedestrian 2-3 record with 3 of those losses coming from inter conference opponents. Though the season hasn’t begun to truly take form it’s important for teams to establish themselves early on. The Phoenix Suns are currently 2.5 games behind the conference leading warriors who are 5-1. This may seem give the illusion that we aren’t far behind the top dogs, but don’t be fooled. A lot of things have to go right to boost us up to the top with the class of the Western Conference. We have to not only win our next three, but the Warriors have to go on a down spiral as well as the other 9 teams ahead of us. Even before we can hope for that we need to address our biggest issues so that we don’t drop anymore “winnable” games.
Anyone who’s attended a Suns game might hear a lot of different sounds but one sound that seems very consistent is that clang. The clang is the sound the b-ball makes when it bounces off the rim. I understand that in a game players will miss shots. However, the Suns are starting to string together games with 3 point field goal percentages below 28%. Our last 3 games our team went 6-22, 6-26 and 9-28. This is an atrocious team stat line and it’s hurting us in the long run by lowering our confidence and also losing us games.
Jae Crowder is the most important player on our team, yet also the most inconsistent. He does things that don’t show up on the box score such as defending, switching, Help defense and setting screens. Is a good locker room guy and a good chemistry guy. He brings energy and hard work to every team he’s been on. He’s also started on two championship rosters while also going head to head with King James in the playoffs. These things alone aren’t enough though to make me over look his rough start to the year. The last two Playoff teams he’s been on he’s averaged almost 30 a game and shot 40% with 10 a game and 48% with 12.
These point totals don’t rival the best scorers in the league but they are good stat lines for a 3rd or 4th scoring option behind the likes of dominant players like Tyler Herro, Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Jimmy Buckets.
So far this year his minutes have increased while his production has fallen. You can sit here and preach about his fundamentals, Defensive abilities and his great locker room presence. Sure I get it he’s a quality guy, and I got no problem with him riding the pine and getting his 6 to 7 points a game on the second unit. He is part of the main reason our 3 point shooting is so lack luster. I can legitimately name several player who play less minutes than him with significantly more point totals.
Players with less time played, but more PPG than Jae Crowder
- Lamarcus Aldridge: 20 MPG, 12 PPG
- Anfernee Simmons: 22.8 MPG, 12.6 PPG
- Derrick Rose: 21.5 MPG, 12.3
- Cam Reddish: 24.5 MPG, 16.2
- Terrance Ross: 25.7 MPG, 11.3
And the list goes on…https://www.nba.com/stats/leaders/
In a Nutshell..
Lastly I wanna cover two things. One: JaVale McGee deserves a round of applause for stepping up to the plate and playing like the big man we need him to be. His rebounding numbers are exactly where they should be for a guy averaging 14 minutes a contest. I have been hard on him, but he’s starting to turn it around. Two: James Jones. Boy, you crapped the bed on this one. I was in Ayton’s corner the whole time saying get him the max, lock him up. Now he’s set to be a RFA next year and if the Suns can’t match the offer or come to an agreement it’s bye-bye success because Ayton is by far the best big man in next year’s free agency. Ayton is scorching the back boards with his usual tenacity. He’s also resuming his role as a reliable 3rd option when needed and post threat face up and back down. You people can call him executive of the year if you want, But I will never let him love this down. Nevertheless I’m done for today let’s hope Monty can rally the guys and get us back to .500, and back into playoff contention where we belong.
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