Player of the Week: Shaquille Harrison’s defense is formidable

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 13: Shaquille Harrison
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 13: Shaquille Harrison /

The Phoenix Suns have struggled mightily in the second week of March, however Shaquille Harrison hasn’t struggled, especially on defense.

Usually big name players end up producing big time stats that win them awards. However, in March’s second edition of the player of the week award, that’s not the case. Backup point guard Shaquille Harrison has become a very solid option for the Phoenix Suns and one of the team’s best defenders. Harrison was the only consistent player in each of the Suns’ games for the second week of March and that’s why he’s won the player of the week award.

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In the blowout loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Harrison provided solid minutes as the backup point guard. He ended the game with nine points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block, while making half of his six field goal attempts, but failed to make his one 3-point attempt. He did make all three of his free throw shots and had the highest plus/minus rating among Suns’ players with a +3 rating.

Harrison got his first career start in the defeat to the Charlotte Hornets. He finished the contest with 14 points, two rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block, while shooting 60 percent from the floor, 100 percent from downtown and 33.3 percent from the foul line. Harrison had career highs in points, shots made and shots attempted. He also tied a career high in assists.

After signing a multi-year contract to stay with the Suns, Harrison had a solid game in limited minutes in the loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In 11 minutes Harrison had 10 points, one rebound and one steal, while shooting 4-6 from the field, 0-1 from behind the arc and 2-2 from the charity stripe.

Honorable Mention

In the unconventional way that the Suns’ backup point guard is the player of the week, starting point guard Elfrid Payton lands honorable mention this week. Payton had a poor week shooting, but contributed in other areas. In the second week of March, Payton averaged 10.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.3 steals.

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If the Phoenix Suns want to end the season on a positive note then Shaq Harrison shouldn’t be winning player of the week. The Suns have too many talented players that need to start producing consistently. With that said, fans shouldn’t undervalue Harrison’s productive week. He averaged 11.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.7 blocks and 1.3 steals. If other players on the roster can pick up their production and Harrison can continue his positive play, then the Suns have a chance at a bright future.