4 Reasons the Phoenix Suns are struggling in December

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Mikal Bridges of the Phoenix Suns shoots
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Williams has been shorthanded this season with his player availability. However, there are a couple of things that can be fixed with some coaching.

The first quarter is killing Phoenix

Anyone who has been watching Phoenix since the playoff ousting by Dallas last season knows that the Suns have not been good in the first quarter. In almost every December game, and definitely in the losses, Phoenix has fallen behind early, making the game more complicated than it needs to be.

Against both Washington and Denver, Phoenix fell behind early, by a lot, and was able to claw their way back into the game, but then ran out of steam and lost in the end. Against Boston, Memphis, and New Orleans on one occasion, those deficits have been too much, and Phoenix never returned.

Being behind at the end of the first quarter is one thing; behind double-digits is another, and the Suns have to fix whatever is wrong at the start of games, which Williams needs to work on.

Chicken or egg with Suns and three points

The final big problem for Phoenix in December is that the team is taking entirely too many three-pointers.

In October, when the Suns were 5-1, they took 32.2 threes per night. In November, as the Suns went a respectable 10-5, they took 33.2 threes per game. However, in December, the Suns fell in love with the three, taking 37.7 per night, which is too many for the team.

It is one thing when Landry Shamet takes a bunch when making them; however, players often try to shoot their way out of a funk rather than going to the bucket to score.

On the season, in their 19 wins, the Suns are taking 34.3 threes per game; in the losses, they are taking 35.3 and shooting a lower percentage. Interestingly, when the Suns’ three-point attempts go down, their free-throw attempts go up in those wins, showing that there is more than one way to score.

Right now, there is no one thing killing Phoenix; it is death by a thousand cuts, as the injuries, shot selection, and lack of size are catching up with a tired team and playing from behind far too often. Can James Jones and Williams do anything about it, or are the Suns going to bleed out?

dark. Next. Stars efforst should not be lost on the Suns