The Phoenix Suns recently acquired Kelly Oubre from the Washington Wizards. We knew for the most part what he is, but is there another level he’s brought?
Around ten days ago, the Phoenix Suns traded veteran forward Trevor Ariza to the Washington Wizards for Kelly Oubre Jr. I, for one, was ecstatic about the acquisition of this young man. I feel he can reach a whole new level here. And he may be starting to show that he will do just that.
We knew we were getting a young player that can cover multiple positions. We knew we were getting a player that has legit defense and is good at switching, which is ideal in Igor Kokoskov’s game plan.
We knew we were getting a player that’s shown offensive potential and has been stuck behind John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Otto Porter but now has a real chance to take a leap here after getting acclimated and adjusting to a new role.
There is one thing that he’s showing early on that I wasn’t counting on but I’m very happy with and hope he can build on. For those of you that remember 1992, think of “Fourth Quarter Frank” Johnson. Why was he called that? He earned that nickname with his clutch performances that helped the team close games.
Yes, if we need a final shot with the game on the line we should automatically look to Devin Booker. And hopefully to Deandre Ayton eventually as well. T.J. Warren‘s offense has sprung forward this season also.
But clutch isn’t just one guy, and it’s not just a final shot. Also, it by no means hurts having more than one guy you can count on down the stretch. There are a special breed of players that enjoy stepping up in the final moments and that go to a whole new level in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Yes it’s early and a very small sample size, but Kelly Oubre Jr is showing that he may be that guy.
Oubre made a three with 49.9 seconds left at Boston in the Garden to put the Suns up 8 points and seal the win. He hit a jumper with 29.4 seconds left at the Wizards to take a lead late, and Phoenix forced OT after outscoring Washington in the 4th quarter.
Overall, if you look at what he did in the fourth quarters and overtimes of the three games he’s been in purple and orange, it’s impressive. Against Boston, he played the entire fourth quarter. Against Washington, he played all but about 3.5 minutes of the fourth and was on the court for the entirety of the three overtimes.
Out of 51 possible minutes in the fourth quarter and overtime, Kokoskov had him on the floor for just over 42, showing his trust in him, and rightfully so. In that time, he made nine of 13 shots (69 percent), six of nine threes (67 percent), and three of four free throws (75 percent) for 27 points, three rebounds, one assist, two steals, and one block.
He did a lot to keep the Phoenix Suns in games, and that will definitely be something to watch over his tenure here. Maybe he’s earning a new nickname. Other than “Tsunami Papi,” maybe he’s becoming “Fourth Quarter Oubre” or “Fourth Quarter Kelly” or even “Fourth Quarter Papi.”