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 /
3 of 3
Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Early Troubles: Poor Perimeter Defense

It feels all too fitting that Phoenix lost their matchup with the Sacramento Kings on a 3-pointer. To go with their hideous 3-point shooting, the Suns consistently make mistakes while defending their opponents from range as well.

As it stands now, the Suns allow their opponents to shoot 42.2 percent on 3-pointers, the highest mark surrendered by any team. Oddly enough, only four other teams defended the triple better than Phoenix last season. With the 3-pointer’s popularity today, a drop off such as this cannot become ignored, nor accepted.

Based on the eye test, this issue for the Suns starts with their inability to stop inside penetration and with their slow rotations—both which represent easy fixes, as long as the effort is there.

Despite illustrating his ability to provide a spark off the bench both offensively and defensively during the NBA Finals last year, Cameron Johnson looks especially sluggish when defending the long range shot right now, giving up the most 3-pointers per 100 possessions on the team. Look for him to kick things up a notch.

But still, a more collective effort to bother shooters likely solves this issue before anything else. As the team’s best defender, Bridges needs to lead by example and also turn things up another gear. At the same time, if a more offensive minded player like Booker steps up and begins to defend at a stingier level, it will be hard for his teammates to not see that and feel inspired.

Next. 2 Things the Suns Must Change After Slow Start. dark

A strong and collective mindset shared by an entire coaching staff and team typically leads to strong defense. The Suns did it that way last year, and now just need to rekindle that fire.