With the Phoenix Suns grim 2012-2013 season in the books it’s only right to discuss the details of the dark clouds that hovered over Planet Orange for most of the year. This past year’s Suns team was so bad that only the 1968 Suns were worse than them in terms of winning percentage, and 1968 was the first year the Suns became an NBA franchise.
After Steve Nash had skipped town there were little expectations for these Suns going into the season. Things hardly got better for the Suns as time went on. Alvin Gentry was fired after starting the season 13-28, Marcin Gortat missed the remaining 21 games of the season, Kendall Marshall hit the tough NBA learning curve, and Michael Beasley didn’t become the 20 PPG scorer everyone thought he’d be.
So what does it all add up to?
Well in this case a 25-57 record, the second worst record in Suns history, worst record in the western conference, major uncertainty moving forward, and despite all the losing, the Suns will only have the fourth best chance to win the lottery(11.9%) behind Cleveland, Orlando and Charlotte.
So without any further delay, let’s give out the awards(Good & Bad) for the 2012-2013 Phoenix Suns!
Phoenix Suns 2012-2013 MVP: Goran Dragic
- Dragic was hardly sensational by NBA standards but he was godlike compared to the rest of the Suns players. Dragic had a great second-half of the season averaging 16.1 points, 9.5 assists and two steals in the 26 post all-star break games he played. However his 33% three-point percentage was less than desired and his 3.5 turnovers per game in the second-half wasn’t too great neither. Then again, compared to everyone else in purple and orange, Dragic was a dragon among men.
Phoenix Suns 2012-2013 Sixth Man: Jermaine O’Neal
- Jermaine O’Neal quietly had a good season for the Suns. O’Neal averaged 11 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 18 games after the all-star break despite averaging just 23 minutes throughout those 18 games. O’Neal’s 8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.4 blocks in 51 games off the bench was also pretty solid. O’Neal provided some much needed veteran experience throughout the year with the exception of that “Controversial” Goaltending call in Houston.
Phoenix Suns 2012-2013 Most Improved Player: P.J Tucker
- P.J Tucker is the type of player the Suns to build their culture around, tough nosed defense, boundless energy, competes every season he’s on the floor, and gives it 150% every game. Tucker was without a doubt one of the most hard working players all season. Tucker’s 6.4 points and 4.4 rebound per game season stat line won’t blow anyone away but in the month of April averaged 10.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists on 54% shooting from the floor and shot 54% from beyond the arc.
Phoenix Suns 2012-2013 Defensive Player Of The Year: P.J Tucker
- After losing their ace perimeter defender Grant Hill last off-season, P.J Tucker has filled in just fine. According to 82games.com, the Suns gave up 2.9 points less(every 100 possessions) with Tucker on the court. There were a few games where Tucker got burned by the likes of James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony, but don’t worry about it P.J! Those guys burn just about everybody.
Phoenix Suns 2012-2013 Biggest Letdown Of The Year: Michael Beasley
- So much for that “Go-to scorer” Huh? Beasley made me sick to my stomach last year. This guy has so much talent and he has no reason to be so unsuccessful in the NBA. Talent wise, P.J Tucker doesn’t hold a candle next to Beasley but somehow Tucker had a better season, befuddling right? Beasley averaged just 10.1 points this season on 40% shooting from the field and 31% shooting from three-point land. Beasley was far more consistent this season at teasing Plant Orange as opposed to being consistent on the court. Beasley had some terrific games throughout the year, the 25-point game against the Spurs in San Antonio, a 25-point game against the Warriors earlier this month, the 20-points in 21 minutes game against the Bulls, and of course the 27-point game against the Lakers in Steve Nash’s homecoming. It looks like the Suns choose wrong between Beasley and O.J Mayo last off-season.
The Ultimate Bold Prediction:
- The Suns WILL draft the next all-star! The 2013 NBA draft doesn’t hold a candle next to the 2012 draft in terms of talent, but there are stars and good players in every draft! I believe if the Suns take someone like an Otto Porter or Victor Oladipo, they’ll have themselves a cornerstone.
- I’m an optimist heading into every off-season because so much can change between now and next November. The Suns have solid depth at every position, and having a point guard like Goran Dragic moving forward is huge. They may not have had a lot of talent on this team but it’s safe to say this team underachieved just a little. Who knows? With an addition of a great young player through the draft, a couple of trades here and there to improve the roster, and hopefully a coaching change, who knows what can happen….