Should the Phoenix Suns delve into a more modern offensive playstyle?

Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul
Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns retained their offensive playstyle in their second-round loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

Phoenix’s shocking game seven defeat to Dallas was incredibly disappointing, but it wasn’t as a result of playing a completely different style to what they had during the entire regular season, at least offensively.

Throughout their league-leading 64-18 regular season, the Suns as a team had taken 26.2% of their shots from between ten feet and the three-point line. In their seven game series against the Mavericks, this actually increased to 28.3%.

The shot frequencies didn’t change, but the efficiency altered just enough. The field goal percentages from within ten feet dipped slightly, however this was countered by shooting exactly 40% from three against the Mavericks (compared to 36.4% across the regular season).

This shows the three-point shooting and paint attempts weren’t the issue, it was rather the mid-range shots. The Suns’ field goal percentage on pull-up two-pointers dropped by 4.9% compared to their mark during the regular season.

That’s not much, but combined with an increase in turnover rate, the Suns offensive rating slipped enough to provide Dallas with an opportunity. After taking a 2-0 lead at home, the final five games were a disaster.

Phoenix Suns, Monty Williams
Phoenix Suns, Monty Williams Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Paul began turning the ball over in ways scarcely seen throughout his illustrious career, also averaging less than ten points across the final five games. Booker was good in patches, yet his 22.2 points per game to close the series was well below his average of 26.8 during the regular season. Ayton remained his usual offensive presence, at least until game seven where he tallied five points and was benched for the majority of the second half.

That final game of the season, in which the Suns trailed 57-27 at half time, could be scarring moving forward. The question now lies in how much they adapt their offensive style heading into next season?