Phoenix Suns: Realistic Stat Projections for Each Member of Starting Unit

Roberto Payne@@HouseofPayne555Contributor IAugust 13, 2012

Phoenix Suns: Realistic Stat Projections for Each Member of Starting Unit

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    Stats are one of the main aspects of competitive sports. They determine who the best players are and who gets paid the big bucks.

    For fans of the Phoenix Suns, stats are going to be that much more important for next year's revamped starting lineup. If expectations meet their talent, some of these guys could put up quality numbers.

    For the sake of this article, the starting lineup will be as follows:

    • PG Goran Dragic
    • SG Shannon Brown
    • SF Michael Beasley
    • PF Luis Scola
    • C Marcin Gortat

    The lineup has talent, but how will they do come October 31 against Golden State Warriors? Will their talents work well as a unit? What kind of stats can we expect?

    Read on for statistical predictions for each member of the Phoenix Suns' starting five.

Point Guard: Goran Dragic

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    Per-Game Stat Predictions

    14.3 points, 7.9 assists, 2.5 rebounds, 1.6 steals, 0.3 blocks, 45% field goal, 35% three-point and 82% free throw.


    Goran Dragic decided to come back to Phoenix this offseason, and he will be given the keys to the team from day one.

    He'll be the main ball-handler and, as a more confident player, someone who will be counted on this season to produce consistently.

    Dragic should see an increase in the majority of his stats, as he will be getting more playing time than he has ever received in his career.

    Toss in the fact that he should already be comfortable with the coaching staff and style of play and Dragic should be a prime candidate for the Most Improved Player award.

Shooting Guard: Shannon Brown

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    Per-Game Stat Predictions

    9.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.2 blocks, 41% field goal, 37% three-point and 84% free throw.


    Shannon Brown had a career year last season and, most likely, expects an even bigger role on the team this season. That immediately changed once other scorers (Scola, Beasley, Dragic) were brought on.

    To be honest, there weren't many scorers on the team last season and Brown capitalized on that, putting up decent numbers.

    Don't be surprised to see a decrease in his points per game, but an increase in other stats like steals and blocks per game.

Small Forward: Michael Beasley

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    Per-Game Stat Predictions

    17.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.9 blocks, 43% field goal, 39% three-point and 78% free throw.


    Michael Beasley is easily the hardest guy to predict on the entire Phoenix team, let alone the starting lineup.

    Beasley has the talent to put up big-time numbers, but has been hampered by terrible decisions and played in a system that didn't suit his skills.

    He has a chance to put all that behind him, and I'm predicting he will do just that.

    The up-tempo style of play used by coach Alvin Gentry is perfect for Beasley to put up solid numbers and revive his career. He won't have to play a ton of defense and can focus on putting up offensive numbers.

    It won't be a career year, but expect a revitalizing one from Michael Beasley this season.

Power Forward: Luis Scola

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    Per Game Stat Predictions

    14.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.5 blocks, 51% field goal, 10% three-point and 75% free throw.


    Luis Scola brings an offensive inside presence to the Phoenix Suns that hasn't been there since Amar'e Stoudemire left.

    And that's no disrespect to Marcin Gortat; it's just a testament to Scola's post moves and efficiency.

    Scola will immediately be inserted into the starting lineup and, while a small drop in production is expected, he should produce relatively well in the offense.

    If Goran Dragic fails to effectively run the team, the offense can be initiated by throwing the ball down to Scola and seeing what he can make happen.

    All in all, Scola's toughness and post moves should provide a big boost to the team and a major upgrade from last year's starter, Channing Frye.

Center: Marcin Gortat

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    Per Game Stat Predictions

    9.1 points, 10.5 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.7 blocks, 57% field goals, 0% three-point and 71% free throw.


    Last season, Marcin Gortat was often spoiled by spoon-fed passes from Steve Nash that led to easy baskets. This season, expect fewer passes that can immediately be turned into two points.

    The loss of Nash makes it very likely Gortat's points per game will decrease, but that doesn't mean other aspects of his game will suffer.

    Mainly, his rebounding and shot-blocking should increase as he becomes more important to the team's defense.

    Gortat will not be a top scoring option with Scola, Dragic and Beasley in the lineup, but he can be counted on to provide defense in the paint and plenty of energy.