The Phoenix Suns are a group of overachievers.
At almost every position they’ve dealt with health and personnel turnover, and at every position Phoenix players stepped up and exceeded expectations.
From Gerald Green to Miles Plumlee to Markieff Morris...they’ve got guys putting up career numbers.
Green is putting up career highs in points and has stepped into the shooting guard role with Bledsoe sidelined. He’s also never found a shot he didn’t like, and he’s one of the best finishers in the NBA.
Don’t forget that Green was relegated to the D-League several times during his NBA career.
Ryan McDonough, the Sun’s General Manager, spoke about Green’s development this season via NBA.com:
I think that maturity speaks to Gerald’s personal development, but you can also see it in his game...He’s more under control, his shot selection is improved, his defense is improved and he does a lot of the little things that the coaches are asking him to do that he didn’t necessarily do before.
Third-year forward, Markieff Morris is also grabbing some attention with his “grown-man’s game.” His 11-plus points and almost six rebounds per game, in addition to career highs in field-goal percentage and free-throw percentage, have been huge for the Suns bench.
The Suns are 21-0 when Morris puts up over 14 points and six rebounds.
Last but not least, Miles Plumlee sets the tone for the team's interior defense. Pegged as another Most Improved Player candidate, the former Duke standout is averaging close to a double-double this year after riding the pine in Indianapolis last season. Not to mention he’s a prime reason for why the Phoenix faithful isn't crying about the Gortat trade.
As of Jan. 18, Plumlee was averaging more rebounds and blocks than Gortat.
Additional shout outs go to P.J. Tucker who’s averaged almost 10 points and seven rebounds. Don't sleep on Channing Frye either who's put up double-digits in more than 20 games this season.
Anyways, the Suns obviously had to make some adjustments in order to make the game easier on themselves. Then again, adjustments don’t necessarily win ball games. Execution wins ball games, and the abilities of individual Phoenix players to step up their game has been the most critical and surprising part of the season.
If no one steps up than nobody wins.
Kudos on the first half of the season, Phoenix.