3 Glaring Problems for the Phoenix Suns to Fix Without Chris Paul

Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges
Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Problems without Chris Paul: Mikal Bridges is too Passive in the Half Court

It might sound like basketball blasphemy, but Devin Booker does not need to take extra shots during this Chris Paul-less stretch.

As I alluded to earlier, the Suns have two point guards missing. What Chris Paul brings to the table is as clear as day; his leadership and calming way of running the Suns’ offense cannot be overstated.

However, the impact stemming from Cameron Payne‘s absence remains sizeable as well.

Booker played 37 minutes against the Pelicans and 40 minutes against the Jazz last week.  For the majority of that time, he operated as his team’s sole distributor. However, he still managed to hoist up 24 shots against both these opponents. Plainly stated, Book is working hard to try and carry his team, which although admirable, promises to drain him physically.

While it is true Payne’s return is on the horizon, it is also true that Payne might not come back as his usual self. In the meantime, the Suns need other guys to make plays for themselves and their teammates—such as Mikal Bridges.

Even though the Warden scored 21 points against the Thunder in his first game without Paul, he followed that up with only eight points against the Pelicans and 11 points against the Jazz.

Any Suns fans will gladly tell you all about how far Bridges has come with regard to his offensive development. But right now, his team needs him to show off that improvement, and even take it to another level, specifically in the half court.

Finishing the break remains Bridges’s primary job on offense, and he continues to do it at a high level. He constantly looks for leak out opportunities after long rebounds and deflections, but again, the Suns need more from him.

Booker is a great playmaker, but not Trae Young nor LeBron James. A limit exists on how much offense he can create. He needs other perimeter guys to play aggressively and give defenses something to think about beside driving and kicking. That needs to start with Bridges.