Ty Jerome has been sidelined with a sprained ankle the entire regular season. With Rubio suffering from back spasms recently, the Phoenix Suns need him to return as soon as possible.
This could be a case of the backup quarterback being the most popular guy on the team. It probably is.
Booker called out Jerome as the newcomer who stood out during camp, calling him, “A high IQ guy [who] knows how to play the game [and] make reads.”
Williams added that he is a natural leader on the court, which is surprising for a rookie, but not for Jerome.
With Rubio suffering through what has essentially equated to two consecutive missed games with back spasms, the hole at the backup point guard position has become glaringly evident.
The Bulldog, Jevon Carter, filled that role superbly in the first few games for the Phoenix Suns, however as some fans feared, his play regressed to the mean (maybe even below it) and he found himself a victim of Williams’ shortened rotation. Evidently, he ran out of rocks to eat.
With the next man up mentality (and my mentality, I mean the only real options the Suns had), Elie Okobo tried his hand at replacing Rubio against the Sacramento Kings but produced limited results.
Who knows if Rubio’s back spasms will be a persistent issue or if this was more of a case of a bad night’s sleep that will only linger for a few days. Regardless, solidifying that backup role will be key, and Jerome is the Suns’ next best option to do it.
Carter brings aggressive defense and Okobo doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, however what the Suns need is a floor general when Rubio isn’t on the court.
That floor general could be Ty Jerome.
Unfortunately, the sprained ankle he suffered just days before the season opener is healing slower than the Virginia Cavaliers style of play.
On the Burns and Gambo radio show, Phoenix Suns General Manager, James Jones, said of his timeline for return, “We’re still a couple weeks [out] again…it’s a grade 2 sprain…he’s getting closer but he’ll need an opportunity to get up and down in practice.”
It sounds like one of those injuries that makes the player perpetually a “couple weeks” from returning, so it is hard to say when a “couple weeks” will come to an end.
From the Suns’ perspective, it cannot come soon enough.
Obviously, Ayton is the most prized sidelined player. Without him, the Suns have had a very difficult time matching up with opposing length, scoring in the paint, and protecting the rim. Aron Baynes can only do so much, and even he is banged up.
However, when the offense isn’t being run by a top quality point guard, it forces Devin Booker to play like he had to play last year: lots of one-on-one in at attempt to do all the scoring and play-making himself.
While he is certainly capable of doing that, the Suns have thrived thus far by leading the league in assists. That starts with a floor general. That starts with Ricky Rubio. Without him, Ty Jerome is the backup quarterback Suns fans are eager to see get in the game.