The Phoenix Suns are among the league’s worst in giving up late shot clock baskets, and among the worst in scoring them.
It feels like every single game the Phoenix Suns give up a last-second buzzer-beater to end a quarter, if not more.
This comes on the heels of a game where the Suns both gave one up to end the half, and missed one at the end of regulation that would have won it.
The problem with quantifying this statistic is that it is more of a feel than anything else, because I don’t watch the end of every quarter of every NBA game. And now that it is in my head, every time it happens it perpetuates the idea in my head the Suns lead the league in this category exponentially.
But, surely, since the NBA has every stat known to man readily available, this should be something easy to find. Or so you would think.
Unfortunately, “Opponent Shooting with the Shot Clock Off” doesn’t yield any results on the NBA Statistics website.
So instead, I looked at the next best thing: Opponents shooting with the 0-4 seconds left in the shot clock.
The obvious difference here is that it doesn’t only account for quarters’ end, but every late shot clock situation. The results, however, are pretty much exactly what you would expect.
The Phoenix Suns rank 29th in the league in opponents field goal percentage in the last 4 seconds of the shot clock at 39.7%.
Only the Philadelphia 76ers are worse, giving up 40.7%.
The big difference, however, is that the 76ers have also given up the fewest field goal attempts in the league in this situation, while the Suns are in the top 10.
To break it down further, the Suns allow 45.6% shooting for 2-point field goals which ranks 6th worst in the league, and 31.3% shooting from 3, good for 3rd worst in the league.
So, it turns out this was more than just a feeling; stats back it up. And if you any of you out there can find the numbers for he quarter-ending buzzer-beater equivalent, let me know.
Conversely, the Phoenix Suns are equally bad scoring in these late shot clock situations. They are shooting 33% overall, which is 4th worst in the league.
To recap, the Suns give up a ton of late shot clock buckets and don’t get very many themselves. This is a microcosm of what has been a so-close-yet-so-far-away type of season, where the Suns are right there at the end, but end up with their hearts broken.
Law of averages, though, right? Hopefully this trend won’t last through the second half of the season.