Suns Power Rankings Roundup: Week 10
Below is a graph of where the Suns have ranked over the course of the season.
And here is what Power Rankers are saying about the Suns this week:
Suns ranked 28th - "The aim here is not to be overly critical of Devin Booker, who won't turn 21 until next October. But Booker's PER continues to be a statistic of interest for the Committee, because the 20-year-old is still hovering below the league average at 13.23. Despite the obvious pressure in these tough circumstances that have been thrust onto Booker's shoulders, you'd like to see him in the 16 or 17 range at worst. As our own Zach Lowe noted the other day in his weekly "10 Things" dispatch, meanwhile, Suns vets Tyson Chandler, Jared Dudley and Leandro Barbosa are all delivering essentially what was expected."
Suns ranked 28th - "A forgettable basketball team with a bunch of guys who will probably help other teams several years in the future. Somehow making "ahead of their time" into a bad thing."
Suns ranked 27th - "Marquese Chriss was four years old when Tyson Chandler made his debut for the Bulls at age 19. Devin Booker was nine when Jared Dudley won ACC Player of the Year as a senior at Boston College. Dragan Bender was six years old growing up in Croatia when Leandro Barbosa came to the Suns from Brazil for the first time. This might make you feel super old, but it also underscores the differing directions that make this Suns roster one of the league’s more confusing.
There are vestiges of several visions on this roster, with developing Booker, Chriss and Bender the current M.O., Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight beginning their prime years, and the three aforementioned vets all pulling minutes along with P.J. Tucker. The Suns are tricky because it feels like they have good players, but none of them add up as parts. All of their old guys could ostensibly be helping playoff teams, but have minimal trade value. With the talent they do have, you figure they could at least hang on the playoff fringes given how bad the West has been. But they’ve mostly committed to neither direction, and are bottom-10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.
These parts don’t fit, and they don’t fit long-term as constituted either. Booker’s untouchable, but nobody else should be. As many suspected, drafting Chriss and Bender has been an awkward fit, the former looking predictably lost as a starter and the latter struggling to find frontcourt minutes. It’s too early to bail on either (they had to know what they were doing when they took two of the draft’s youngest players), but half-committing to the youth movement slows the roll. It’s a mishmash they have to sort out. Bledsoe and Knight are both on reasonable long-term deals, Chandler’s actually playing well, and Dudley’s still a capable role player on a team-friendly contract. I hate calling for fire sales or full-tanks, but the Suns should be positioned fairly well as sellers as the season moves on."
Suns ranked 28th - "The Suns have been playing their best offense of the season (107 points scored per 100 possessions over their last eight games), have T.J. Warren back and contributing off the bench (with two straight 19-point performances), and got a comeback win (with a 70-50 second half) over the Sixers on Friday. But they've been unable to slow down the league's best teams and are 1-9 against those that are currently over .500 after Wednesday's loss to Houston. And now they play 14 of their next 17 games (including the next five) against that group."
Suns ranked 28th - "You see flashes of offense in Phoenix — from Devin Booker or T.J. Warren, sometimes Eric Bledsoe — but it doesn’t matter when the defense is bottom give bad. The roster remains just an oddly constructed mess — it’s hard to see the overarching plan. What’s worse, the schedule gets a lot tougher for the next few weeks, starting with the Rockets, Spurs, Raptors, and Jazz this week."