The 29-20 Phoenix Suns have been without point guard Eric Bledsoe for over a month, and yet they continue to win games and climb the standings in a tough Western Conference.
Perhaps general manager Ryan McDonough and rookie head coach Jeff Hornacek should be given most of the credit for the team's success. The right transactions and coaching could turn around any franchise, even in just one season.
Or, give credit to all of the new players who have exceeded expectations, such as Eric Bledsoe, Gerald Green and Miles Plumlee. Even Ish Smith has done a great job as the team's third-string point guard.
But it's equally important to look at all of the holdovers from last season and recognize how much these players have improved.
Only five players on the current Suns roster suffered through the disastrous 2012-13 campaign: Goran Dragic, Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris, P.J. Tucker, and Channing Frye (who did not play due to an enlarged heart).
While the new acquisitions have been fantastic, each of these five players have only continued to add to their skill set since last year. And through that development, they perhaps are the most responsible for the team's success.
This article will focus solely on how those five players have developed.