Phoenix Suns: 2 Things Responsible for Ugly Start this Year

Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phoenix Suns, Jae Crowder
Phoenix Suns, Jae Crowder (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Early Troubles: Poor 3-Point Shooting

Almost nobody shot the ball better from three than the Suns last year. Hitting from deep at a 37.8 percent rate, Phoenix even put up the sixth best percentage across the entire NBA.

This offseason, the team also acquired Landry Shamet, a career 39.9 percent shooter from beyond the arc. Needless to say, all signs pointed toward the Suns once again raining fire from deep this year. But so far, their long range missile systems look disabled.

Through their first four games, the Suns own a 32.8 percentage from three, the second worst mark league-wide. Only the lowly Detroit Pistons are shooting worse right now—a team which nobody expected to be mentioned in the same sentence as Phoenix coming into this year.

But amidst their struggles, Phoenix’s success in finding open shots during their games makes this stat most peculiar. More often than not, dead-eye shooters Jae Crowder, Chris Paul, Abdel Nader, and Cameron Payne found themselves with solid looks during their opening round of games, but missed them all the same.

Last year, Nader and Payne both shot above 40.0 percent from deep, but to start this season, Payne is shooting a putrid 16.7 percent from deep, with Nader shooting just 20.0 percent.

Crowder also shot 38.9 percent from range last year, but currently shoots 18.2 percent. Paul rounds out this declining group with his long range percentage dropping as well, going from 39.5 percent, to a weak 30.0 percent. Mikal Bridges represents the only player building on his efficient shooting from last year, rather than tearing it down, shooting 47.4 percent from outside.

This has forced the Suns into a 19.7 percent disparity between their 2-point and 3-point field goal shooting, illustrating a fat and juicy flaw within their team which they must sew up.