Phoenix Suns: T.J. Warren making 3’s changes everything

Phoenix Suns T.J. Warren (Photo by Timothy Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns T.J. Warren (Photo by Timothy Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns wing T.J. Warren has been uncharacteristically good from 3 so far this season. Everything would change is he could keep that up.

T.J. Warren has never been able to shoot from the perimeter his whole career. The most 3’s he ever attempted per game for a season was 1.5. Last season, he shot just 22.2 percent from beyond the arc, so there’s definitely a good reason he doesn’t shoot much from deep. But this year has been a completely different story so far.

Although it’s been just three games, Warren looks far more confident and able to make the 3. He’s taken 4.7 per game, making 2.7 of those for 57.1 percent. He’s also been consistent so far, shooting 3-4, 2-5, and 3-5 in the three games. He’s not going to sustain such a high percentage, but if he could be a threat to shoot it and make around two per contest, his game would change completely.

Being able to space the floor would make it way easier for Warren to play with Deandre Ayton. To be at his best, Ayton needs space to operate down low, and that means playing with four guys capable of shooting the 3. Ayton will get plenty of playing time, so if Warren can fit better with him, he’ll be able to play more.

Also, as of now, Warren is primarily responsible for carrying the scoring load when Ayton and Devin Booker are getting rest, which often means going up against bench players and playing with bench players. That means his lack of defense can somewhat be covered by the lack of opposing talent, but the team will rely on his scoring even more. If Warren can knock down the three, he’ll become a guy who  can score at all three levels, making him much tougher to stop.

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Warren wasn’t a good 3-point shooter through his first four seasons, and three games is obviously a small sample size. Hopefully his perimeter shooting really is improved after putting in significant work this summer. For now it’s still too early to say, but it’s fun to imagine how dangerous he could be if his offense (and especially his 3-point shot) continues as it’s been.