Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Goran Dragic has been one of the better defender on the Phoenix Suns this year
The Phoenix Suns have never been a fantastic defensive team, and this season isn't any different.
The Suns are in the bottom five of the NBA in opponent points per game, opponent field-goal percentage and opponent three-point percentage.
Phoenix is giving up 100.8 PPG, bad enough for sixth-worst in the entire NBA.
Causes for this can be attributed to poor individual defenders and a general lack of solid defensive concepts.
Looking at Phoenix's roster, only Jared Dudley, Marcin Gortat, Jermaine O'Neal, Sebastian Telfair and P.J. Tucker can qualify as above-average defenders.
Couple that with inconsistent team defense, and the Suns just don't have a solid defensive foundation.
However, the opponent points per game is not as disturbing as the the opponent field-goal percentage and opponent three-point percentage.
Phoenix is allowing opponents to shoot 47 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from the three-point line.
In the last decade, only two teams (2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and 2008-09 Sacramento Kings) have managed to allow opponents to shoot over 40 percent from both the field and three-point line.
If the stats kept consistent for the remainder of the season, this Phoenix team would the third.
This is simply not going to win many games for the Suns.
In my opinion, the coaching staff has begun to value defense more and is heading in the right direction, as shown by the increased playing time for P.J. Tucker and Sebastian Telfair.
However, there still seems to be a lack of quality team defense on this team.
For the New Year, the Phoenix Suns should make a serious effort to sharpen up the defensive side of the ball.