T.J. Warren is one of the best players on the Phoenix Suns roster, but he still has areas he should focus on improving as his New Year’s resolution.
With the 14th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Phoenix Suns selected T.J. Warren from North Carolina State. He is now the longest tenured Sun. That’s how young this team is. He’s still only 25 years old, and even with the big leap he made this year, he still has places he should work on improving in the new year.
Entering the new year, you must appreciate what you have while at the same time looking forward to what’s to come. The longest tenured Sun is no exception, as he should be happy with how big of a leap he’s taken forward this season but strive to grow on that and not settle.
One thing he should be very happy with is how much he’s improved his shooting. In his three seasons prior to this one, he’d made a combine 79 threes at around 28 percent. This season, he’s made 57 threes at about 44 percent. That’s a tremendous leap forward.
“Tony Buckets” still has to keep shooting so that efficiency stays at a high level, but he needs to focus on a few other things too.
He needs to keep working on his defense, and he needs to improve his play making and passing.
His defense is actually decent, and he puts solid effort into it. However, he’s by no means a good defensive player.
Averages of 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocks per game are solid defensive stats, but his defensive rating is at a 114. That’s 3 points worse than James Harden‘s 111. As the team improves I’m sure Warren’s rating will as well. Vice versa, with better defense, it will help the Suns’ record improve.
Another area for improvement is his play making and passing. He’s averaging 1.4 assists per game this season. That’s his career high.
He doesn’t need to average 5 dimes, but if he can get that number up to at least 2, maybe even 3, then that would be really helpful to the other players on the court.
Being that he’s only turning the ball over an average of 1.2 times, there really wouldn’t be much of a risk in this. He handles the ball very well and protects the rock.
One thing I would really like to see from Warren is more attack mode.
As our third best player, he’s going to be called upon to help do the scoring. He has taken a back seat and been a role player next to Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, but if he could step up and be a third big scorer every night, that would take this team to another level.
He’s really worked at that, but he needs to keep the pedal down and not ease up. He’s very capable of 25-30 point games, and I’d like to see more of those from him.
Warren is still a young player, and with the leap he took this year, the sky is the limit. Let’s hope he keeps moving forward and we continue to be impressed with him.