December has not been kind to Monty Williams and the Phoenix Suns after dropping their sixth game of the month.
Tuesday night brought no change of fortune for the Phoenix Suns, who dropped their fifth straight on the road in Houston. Once again, Phoenix has shown a glaring weakness: they lack a second-volume scorer on the roster.
With Devin Booker out of the lineup once again, the Suns were not able to get anything going offensively. No single Phoenix starter shot above 40% from the field in the contest, with no individual scoring over 18.
Despite their top scorer’s absence, DeAndre Ayton attempted just ten field goals last night. There is no excuse for the team’s number two scoring option to try fewer field goals than his per-game average in such a situation. Now is the time, more than ever, that Phoenix needs Ayton playing aggressive basketball. However, Ayton may be injured again, compounding the Suns’ problems.
Houston did not have a pretty offensive showcase, either, with a 41% shooting night from Jalen Green being good enough to come away with a victory. As emphasized in the pregame article, Houston has shown a tendency to hang around with contending rosters.
Phoenix Suns Month In Review (So Far)
Since their December 2nd loss to the Houston Rockets, Phoenix holds an embarrassing 1-6 record. Though Devin Booker has been nursing a hamstring injury throughout the early portion of the month, he has still participated in 5 December contests.
Despite last night’s flounder, efficiency from the field hasn’t been where Phoenix has struggled. The team’s shooting splits are nearly identical in the first 21 contests and the last 7. Phoenix scored just 0.4 fewer points per contest than they did in all of 2021-2022, which was good for 5th in the League last year.
One glaring statistical discrepancy witnessed over this pitiful December stretch is the amount of scoring allowed by Phoenix. Since December 2nd, the Suns have allowed 120 points per contest, compared to 108 before December.
A combination of allowing 120 points per game and only having one consistent volume scorer on the roster will not work in the NBA. With scoring becoming more and more abundant, this is not something that Phoenix will be able to conceal for much longer, especially when Devin Booker is out of the lineup.
Just over the quarter mark of the season, it’s not quite time to panic, but let this early half of December serve as a wake-up call for this organization.