Pass Deflections/Contested Shots
How hard it is to raise your arms? Not too hard relatively, although it does take some effort, especially if you’ve been playing 33 minutes in an NBA game. Having the instinctive wherewithal to jump a pass and cause a deflection takes some more effort. Being just pesky enough to slap the ball away from a defender without drawing a foul? Now that is an art. And it is an art the Suns do not possess. They are average, causing 15.3 pass deflections a game, which is good enough to be 14th in the league.
In the same breath is contested shots. Again, raising your arm. It is the effort and willingness to try to prevent a shooter from obtaining a clean look at the rim. The Suns allow 87.5 shots per game. They contest 60.6 of those shots, leaving 26.9 opens shot per game. That’s 31% of the opposition’s attempts without a hand in their face! The team ranks 18th in the league in this advanced metric.
Who leads the way in pass deflections for the Suns? I think we all know who has the most hustle on the squad. Kelly Oubre (3.4) has continued to show us why he is so valuable. He is more than big 3s, push-ups, turnover signals, posterizing dunks, and swag. He leads the team in hustle.