Option 3: Sixth-man by committee could be the Phoenix way
Payne and Craig are the two obvious and logical choices for Phoenix to be the first players off the pine in the playoffs. However, like so many things in life, who the first player to enter the game will be on any given night depends. With no player claiming the sixth-man role this season, who gets the call first may depend on the situation.
If the Phoenix needs a big man, expect the return of the Bismack
Bismack Biyombo is a player we could see a lot for the Suns in the playoffs or end up sitting on the sidelines getting bored. Biyombo could become a liability on the defensive end if teams go small, and defense is his strength as a player. However, if DA gets in early foul trouble or the Suns are playing Denver, Biyombo could play heavy minutes in dealing with a big frontcourt.
If Biyombo is the first player off the bench, it is likely because something went wrong, with DA in foul trouble or the Suns getting dominated in the paint. Bizzy will get his minutes in the playoffs, but hopefully at Monty’s discretion.
Williams can opt for Ross or Warren for that instant offense
Although Craig and Payne can score, they are not known as scorers. However, two other players on the Suns’ bench came recently to the team, Terrence Ross and TJ Warren. Neither Ross nor Warren has found their rhythm since joining the Suns. Ross’s intermittent minutes and Warren getting sick just when he seemed to be turning a corner have held back their integration.
While neither player has exactly proven it this year with Phoenix, both have been consistent scorers in their careers and can certainly come in and provide some offensive punch if the Suns need it. Ultimately, Payne or Craig will be the first to run to the scorer’s table for most of the playoffs, but depending on the situation, things could change as the Suns look to win 16 more games.