Phoenix Suns: It is Mikal Bridges time to shine

Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Mikal Bridges showed to be a key piece to the Phoenix Suns successful spurts this season, and with Oubre out, Disney will be his time to shine.

With the unfortunate news about Kelly Oubre Jr., the Phoenix Suns will need the whole team to step up to make up for the loss of one of their best players, and Mikal Bridges is one of the key guys who need to make a huge leap. It is his time to shine.

During the season, Bridges averaged 27.3 minutes per game and I’m sure he can expect his minutes to rise to somewhere around Oubre’s 34.5. Bridges solidified his spot in the starting lineup before the stoppage of the season and will continue to be a starter in July when the NBA makes a return, but this time he will have a bigger role.

Bridges shined for the Phoenix Suns this season and now has an opportunity to shine brighter.

For the season, Mikal averaged 8.7 points per game, 4.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.4 steals on 51/35/84 shooting. While his shooting was up and down, he looked like a better player than his rookie season, and his potential and the excitement around him is still there.

During the Suns’ final 16 games Mikal averaged 12.5/4.4/2.6 all of which were games he started. While his numbers may not always be eye-popping, his impact is there. “The Man Of Steal” is a hound on defense, and he lives up to his nickname. Mikal is right behind Ricky Rubio in steals per game for the Suns with 1.4, but is first in total steals for the Valley Boyz.

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On top of his ability to steal the ball away, he was also third on the Suns in blocks per game (0.6) and total blocks (39) at a minimum of 10 games played for the Suns, despite only being listed as a 6’6″ small forward.

With Kelly sitting out to continue rehabbing his knee, the Suns are missing a good chunk of their defense, rebounding, and scoring, and given the right opportunity, Mikal can become even more of a factor on this team.

We all know Mikal can’t do it by himself. He will definitely need 100 percent from all of his teammates, but he can be a driving force on a playoff-hopeful team and establish himself as a leader and a key building block for this team going forward.

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