Phoenix Suns: 3 Players that Could Still Heat Up this Postseason

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson
Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Who Could Still Heat Up this Postseason: Cameron Johnson

During the regular season, Cameron Johnson operated under a “sixth man” role for the Suns, doing so very well, and even starting a few games. Averaging 24.0 minutes each game, he contributed with 9.6 points, 1.4 assists, and 2.0 3-pointers made per contest. Although not the most striking numbers, they still warrant acknowledgment and appreciation especially for a second-year player.

But with teammate Cameron Payne’s emergence this postseason, Johnson now averages only 18.8 minutes and 6.7 points per game, working now as the second, rather than first man off Phoenix’s bench. This shuffle made by head coach Monty Williams obviously served the Suns well, as they decisively swept MVP Nikola Jokic and his Nuggets most recently. However, casting Johnson entirely wayside still feels incredibly foolish given his potential.

Johnson’s best stretch this season came during early April, where he averaged 12.0 points while shooting 54.7 percent from the field, and 50.0 percent from 3-point territory. That period included games against both the Clippers and Jazz.

Johnson continued some modest play during the following weeks and into the postseason’s first round, but again failed to build any real momentum for himself. Contrarily, fellow swingman Jae Crowder upgraded his play, averaging 14.7 points per game during Phoenix’s final three contests against Los Angeles.

During the Conference Semifinals though, Johnson began trending upward once more. Although playing less minutes than the series before with Crowder maintaining his pace from the first round, he still improved his field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, and assist-to-turnover ratio.

Who knows what curveballs the next round might throw Phoenix’s way, but Johnson’s elevated efficiency and previous success this season make him worth following as things progress. It might even take a bit longer, but watch out for Johnson to emerge at some point during the coming weeks.