The Suns are on a two-game wining streak for the first time in over 350 days.
Yes, over 350 days.
Three hundred and fifty days!
After a long week of Ariza trade rumors and arena deal politics, the Suns had their best week of the season.
Get Stops and Run
I thought for the first quarter of the season, the Suns were thinking too much, putting pressure on their half-court offense to execute. With a new coach coming in it could be justified, a young group worried about making mistakes and losing playing time. Whatever the reason might be it was becoming a problem for a young Suns team that was in the bottom in pace ranking in the NBA.
This past week it changed for the Suns, “We’re not thinking so much anymore. We’re just playing basketball” star guard Devin Booker said of the Suns recent play. The Suns seemed to have found an identity in the process.
The insertion of rookie point guard De’Anthony Melton has helped the Suns in both aspects of the game. This is a good clip from the game against the Timberwolves where Melton pushes up ahead in transition for any easy layup.
Melton with the nice pass up ahead – he pushes the pace much better than the other guards the Suns have had this season. pic.twitter.com/fBalz5E1ec
— Suns Film Room (@SunsFilm) December 16, 2018
Other than Melton, everyone else on the team has also bought in to the Suns new identity. It all starts with the Suns defensive effort, first year Suns’ center Richaun Holmes has also played his part in the resurgence.
Holmes block leading to the Jackson layup in transition. Suns defense has been the difference tonight. pic.twitter.com/XIzi3NB0UE
— Suns Film Room (@SunsFilm) December 14, 2018
Heading into the Suns road-trip this play has to continue, I think the Suns will continue to ride this momentum.
Devin Booker’s Presence
Devin Booker returned Saturday night after his six-game absence, with Booker back in the lineup the Suns offense plays at another level. Booker is currently in the 98th percentile for play-making in the BBall Index database. He was in the 95th percentile last season.
Other than just his play-making ability, Booker’s presence on the court makes a difference. This is a 1-4 High – ‘Iverson Rip’ set the Suns run at least once a game. In the first clip you can see the difference with Booker in the lineup where the Suns were able to generate a good look.
This is the set ran with Troy Daniels instead of Booker. Can see the difference Booker's presence can make on the court. pic.twitter.com/4oiEGFMJxv
— Suns Film Room (@SunsFilm) December 13, 2018
Prediction: Suns Will have a Winning Record on the Road-trip
This is a different Suns team than we have all season, the change at the point guard position has made a difference, and the play of defensive minded wing Mikal Bridges has proven to be a great fit next to Booker.
Riding the wave from what they created this past week I predict the Suns will go at least 3-2 on the road-trip with a for sure win against the Knicks at the Madison Square Garden on Monday night.