Phoenix Suns: 3 Rotation Mistakes Monty Williams Must Avoid

Phoenix Suns, Monty Williams. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Monty Williams. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
3 of 4
Phoenix Suns, Jalen Smith
Phoenix Suns, Jalen Smith. Mandatory Credit: Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports /

Phoenix Suns Head Coach Monty Williams Cannot Throw Jalen Smith to the Wolves

As a second-year player who hardly ever suited up during his rookie season, Jalen Smith looks destined for a back-end rotation role at best during the 2021-22 campaign. But while submitting Smith to this situation, Monty Williams must avoid wasting him and his incredibly high ceiling by throwing him out during huge runs against Phoenix’s favor.

First and foremost, the Suns will hopefully never find themselves under a circumstance such as this. As reigning Western Conference champions, only during the rarest of situations should the Suns give up massive runs to their opponents. During any mishaps though, if Williams were to unload his bench to try something else and potentially stop the bleeding, Smith must not participate.

As a former lottery pick still unable to find his footing at the NBA level, Smith likely lacks the necessary confidence and poise to operate as reliable contributor. But aimlessly throwing him out against a red-hot team enjoying a run will only add to that and hurt his development even more. Immediately going up against NBA teams firing on all cylinders resembles the worst environment for an already struggling product to try and further his game, likely getting dunked on and blasted from range over and over again.

Instead, Williams must look to insert Smith into the game during less hostile situations for the Suns, like during an offensive drought from both teams, or more preferably right after a timeout. Doing so allows Smith to acclimate himself to the game more easily, find comfort, and begin to play with the confidence he severely needs right now.