Phoenix Suns top five players of the month: Six games was enough

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 3: Devin Booker
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 3: Devin Booker /

The Phoenix Suns saw plenty of growth from this young team in December. Devin Booker didn’t play a lot, but his growth and impact was unmistakable.

The growth of the Phoenix Suns in the last month of 2017 was undeniable. The team almost doubled its win total in December. What was even more impressive was the overall growth of the Suns’ young core. Even though star Devin Booker only played a handful of games in December due to injury, Booker played at an unbelievable level. His elevated play and the more impressive play by other players, made December an exciting month for Suns fans.

No. 5

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Shooting guard Troy Daniels stepped up in a huge way during Booker’s absence. For the month, Daniels averaged 11.2 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.1 blocks and 0.3 steals. More important than the whole month’s average, is his stats when Booker was absent. Daniels scored in double digits seven out of nine games during that span. Daniels took on the challenge while Booker was not playing and succeeded.

No. 4

The Suns backup center has maintained his fourth spot in these rankings for the third straight month now. It’s a testament to his consistency this season. Alex Len also gained an honorable mention in December’s third player of the week award. In December, Len averaged 8.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.3 blocks and 0.3 steals. More impressive than Len’s average for the month, he had three games in a row where he had grabbed 19, 14, 13 rebounds in each game respectively.

No. 3

The Suns new comer has made an immediate impact on the court. Isaiah Canaan made such an impact that he made Mike James expendable and the team released James to make a permanent spot for Canaan this season. Once Canaan joined the Suns, the club went 5-3 for the rest of December. Besides winning player of the week here at Valley of the Suns, Canaan has had a very solid December for the franchise. He averaged 11.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.3 steals. Canaan’s impact on the club is unmistakable.

No. 2

As the clear cut second best player of the Suns, T.J. Warren has shown consistency at the top of these monthly ranking. He also got honorable mention in the last player of the week award in December. One thing Warren showed was that he may not be able to majorly elevate his game when Booker is out, but did reveal that he’s a consistent scorer regardless of the situation. A comparison to a younger DeMar DeRozan isn’t a stretch for T.J. Warren after his last month of 2017. During December, he averaged 21.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.3 blocks and 1.1 steals. Warren also had two double-doubles during the month as well. Warren’s scoring consistency is something the Suns should continue to develop.

Honorable Mention

One play made Tyson Chandler this month’s honorable mention and the proof is in the pudding.

Besides the game winner itself and getting player of the week because of the same play, Chandler had a very average month by his standards. He ended the month with an averaged of 6.2 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.7 blocks and 0.5 steals. Beyond the fantastic dunk and the average stats, Chandler’s leadership is still very valuable to this club which shouldn’t be taken for granted.

No. 1

Injury aside, in the six games that Devin Booker did play during December, he did so at an MVP level. He averaged an astonishing, 32.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 0.3 blocks and 1.0 steals per game. The one game he had below 20 points was the game he got injured in. He had four games of 32 plus points and one game of 46 points. To put it simply, Devin Booker has proven in December and the whole season thus fair that he deserves to be in the All-Star game. Booker still needs fans’ help getting there, but his play has already proven his deserves it.

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As 2018 is underway, the Phoenix Suns have a lot going for this young roster. The Suns need to continue the improvement the team and individuals saw in December. Agree or disagree? Comment below which five Suns’ players were the best for the franchise in December 2017.