Leandro Barbosa Having A Bad Year?

Sean StancillSenior Writer IMarch 18, 2008

The Phoenix Suns received much grief for trading Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks for Shaquille O'Neal, but failing to significantly improve.

Steve Nash is still up to his behind the back bounce pass antics and Amare Stoudemire is still arguably the most versatile big man in the league. One key piece to their team, however, is found on the bench.

That piece is Leandro Barbosa.

The Brazilian Blur is still doing well off the bench for the Suns, but his production has dropped off from last year. Leandro has suffered in almost every NBA statistical category.

Barbosa's minutes, field goal percentage, three-point percentage, free throw percentage, assists, steals, and turnover margin are all down from a year ago. He's still the No. 2 guard option behind Steve Nash, but he has not been as effective this year.

Maybe it's the fact that the Western Conference has seen a huge emergence in guard play, or maybe it is a lack of team chemistry with Shawn Marion being somewhat of a distraction all year long.

Whatever the problem is, the Phoenix Suns and Leandro better get it corrected soon as the NBA Playoffs are fast approaching.