With Devin Booker nursing an injury, the Phoenix Suns need other players to step up. Despite the Suns losing, one substitute is making the most of his minutes.
The Phoenix Suns are going through some struggles right now. December started rough and has only gotten more difficult for the team, with superstar DBook sidelined for five of the last six games. During that stretch, one player has stepped up, and despite the Suns losing, Landry Shamet should be turning heads and earning the guard more minutes.
Despite losing efforts, Shamet is shining for the Suns
With Booker out, one of the big questions for Phoenix is where the scoring will come from. As far as the positions are concerned, the shooting guard role is still filling the quota. Over the last four contests, Shamet has played over 33 minutes per night and has averaged 22.5 points, including two 31-point explosions.
Unfortunately, the Suns won only one of those four contests over the Lakers, when Shamet scored his lowest in this stretch, 13.
Shamet was the reason the Suns were even in the game in two of the three losses. Phoenix was never in the game against Memphis, but in his two big performances, Shamet kept the Suns close against Washington and Denver. In both games, Shamet shot well and hit his threes, going 16-33 – 48%.
Even beyond the scoring, Shamet showed he could be a playmaker. The Witchita State product was known as a playmaker coming out of college and has shown that over the last several games. During the last four, Shamet has 16 assists against only five turnovers showing he can protect the ball and get it to the right spot.
Shamet needs more minutes for the Suns to succeed.
On the season, Shamet is averaging the fewest minutes of his career at under 20 per night but is contributing with the second most points per game at 9.4. Those numbers can extrapolate to 23.5 points per 48 minutes, showing that Shamet can score in bunches given sufficient minutes.
Likewise, the guard’s assist total is 4.9 per 48 minutes against just 2.2 turnovers, showing those playmaking skills are not just a flash in the pan. Add in the fact that Landry will get after players on the defensive end, and Monty Williams must find more minutes for Shamet, with or without Booker on the court.
Phoenix need scoring, defense, and playmaking, and Shamet has shown us he has all three.