The Phoenix Suns rotation is down to 9-men after Monty Williams pulled Jevon Carter out of the mix. With other bench players struggling, others might be on the same trajectory.
Before the season started, there was much talk about Monty Williams‘ desire to keep a 10-man rotation for the Phoenix Suns this season. While there was originally some debate about who would make up his 10-man rotation, a sprain to Ty Jerome‘s ankle and a diuretic in Deandre Ayton‘s urine helped the Suns’ first year coach make some otherwise tough choices.
The clearest beneficiary of all the above has been the bulldog, Jevon Carter. The West Virginia product made the most of his opportunity early.
His lockdown defense, coupled with his surprisingly consistent and clutch shooting led me to write headlines such as Jevon Carter ain’t scared.
However, after his tremendous performance piqued against the Utah Jazz where he put up 15 points including 4 of 7 shooting from deep. After that, Carter’s hot streak cooled off considerably.
Through the next four games, Carter managed just 2 total points (that comes out to 0.5 points per game) in over 13 minutes of playing time each game. He missed all six of his 3-pointers and had just 6 assists compared to his 4 turnovers.
Just when most people were thinking of how exciting a matchup between Carter’s intense defense and Kyrie Irving‘s tantalizing offense would be, Monty Williams pulled the plug.
Before the Phoenix Suns’ game against the Brooklyn Nets, Williams let Carter know he wouldn’t be playing. Of course, Carter was great about it, but it had to be tough news to receive.
He did get some playing time late in the blowout win, but it looks like Carter will be out of the rotation for the immediate future.
That could mean Ty Jerome will fill in the 10-15 minutes Carter was playing when his sprained ankle heals. Then again, a shortened rotation may be what the Suns need to keep in order to maintain their success.
The bench, which had been so hot to start the year, has taken a step back in terms of production the last few games.
By having Tyler Johnson run offense as the backup point guard, it keeps the ball in the hands of second unit’s best scorer. There are pros and cons to that offensive philosophy, so it will be interesting to see what might change when Jerome is available once again.
And it will be really interesting to see what other rotation casualties might ensue once Deandre Ayton returns.
I hate to speculate on such pessimistic scenarios, especially during this team’s surprising success, but the player seemingly going down the same path of hot start, followed by shaky play is Frank Kaminsky.
With Cam Johnson shooting the ball well, he may be in line to eat up all the backup power forward minutes once the Suns have their full complement of bigs.
Right now, the Suns need size in their depth, so Kaminsky’s current slump is not likely to jeopardize his playing time for the time being, however, he likely sees the Carter development as a sign he needs to pick up his game.
Regardless of what happens down the future, the Phoenix Suns bench landed the team’s biggest hype man. Carter might not be seeing floor as much, but no doubt he will continue to get his team and Talking Stick Resort Arena fired up.