Phoenix Suns’ 3 best points include ‘free-throw defense’ and more

Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports) /
3 of 4
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports) /

Phoenix Suns focus No. 2: Keeping up the ugly

The Suns lead all playoff teams this postseason in defensive categories such as points allowed and field-goal percentage, succeeding in the effort to carry over a huge historic shift – to defense – from Suns teams of the past.

The Game 4 victory was beautiful for Suns fans, to be sure, but probably punished peripheral viewers who probably professed to be able to shoot better than the Clippers and Suns on Saturday night.

These people could make a representative case after the Suns and Clippers mucked their way to 36 percent and 32 percent shooting, respectively.

The Clippers had more than a few open looks, too, but could never push their way in front.

LA coach Ty Lue expressed the frustration.

"We had a chance to take the lead on 12 possessions and couldn’t do it. It just wouldn’t fall for us."

The teams combined to hit nine 3-point shots.

During the particularly brick-infested fourth quarter, the teams combined to miss 16 consecutive field-goal tries in more than four minutes of play.

One more note on the Suns’ efforts to stop their playoff opponents from scoring: They’ve “held” the Lakers, Nuggets and Clippers to 74.3 percent from the free-throw line.

Before you dismiss it, take a look at the two guys – usually Deandre Ayton and another co-conspirator – on the low blocks when opponents shoot free throws. As most Suns fans probably already know, the two Suns make sudden head-and-shoulder movements just before the free throw is released.

It’s fun to watch. Childish, sure, but they are third-best among the 16 playoff teams in “free-throw defense.”