5 optimistic (but possible) statistical subplots for the Phoenix Suns season

Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

At Valley of the Suns we’re currently undertaking statistical expectations for each current member of the Phoenix Suns roster. While they’re based on realistic forecasts, they may not be as exciting as the optimistic outlooks that have fans dreaming of an incredibly successful season.

While the below points are unlikely to eventuate, even just one of them occurring would provide a positive indication on the Suns overall season.

With the 2022-23 season fast approaching, here are five optimistic statistical subplots to follow across the course of the Phoenix Suns season.

1. Deandre Ayton averages 23+ points per game

Although this may appear like a significant jump of around six points per game, there’s a clear pathway for Ayton to be able to achieve this sort of scoring level. An aggressive mindset is the key here – the 24-year-old is an incredibly efficient scorer but can elevate through more trips to the free-throw line and the odd three-point attempt to keep defenses honest.

2. Chris Paul and Mikal Bridges combine for 250+ season steals

Steals may not give an appropriate indication of a player’s defensive capacity, but leaders of the category are usually seen as some of the elite defenders in the league.

To involve a pair of teammates makes this a fairly niche statistic to follow. Even if 250+ combined steals is a stretch, perhaps a more realistic expectation would be for Bridges and Paul to combine for the most steals in the league as a pair of teammates.

They had a combined 217 last season, while the Toronto Raptors pairing of Gary Trent Jr and Fred Van Vleet led the league with 233 in total.

Chris Paul and Mikal Bridges, Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Paul and Mikal Bridges, Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Devin Booker shoots 50/40/90

This should be a genuine goal for the Suns star going into this season. With further shot-making around him and growing playmaking skills himself, Booker should further reduce the tough field-goal attempts he once had to take. The 25-year-old had splits of 47/38/87 last season.

4. Damion Lee shoots 50/40/90

This may not seem as far fetched as it sounds initially. As a role player next to quality playmakers in the Suns backcourt, Lee’s shot diet should sit with mostly open attempts (outside of garbage minutes). The 29-year-old had splits of 47/40/90 two seasons back, demonstrating his chances of hitting the 50/40/90 club if things go right.

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5. Cameron Johnson leads the league in three-point percentage

This may be the most realistic of the five outlooks, with Johnson finishing fourth in this category last season (of players to have made at least 82 threes). The 26-year-old shot 42.5% last season, sitting below Luke Kennard, Desmond Bane and Tyrese Maxey. An opportunity in the starting lineup could provide Johnson with even more open looks.