1. Improve their offensive rating
This Suns team was billed as one that could go on to be one of the best offensive groups the NBA had ever seen before the season started. Through five games they rank around league average in offensive rating (13th, 111.5), and that has not been the case.
Not having Booker or Beal more often than not is clearly the reason for this, although Durant flanked by 3-point marksmen like Yuta Watanabe, Grayson Allen and even Eric Gordon should be giving a better return than that. In the first game against the Spurs recently, the Suns showed glimpses of how terrifying they could be.
At one point in the first half they were up by more than 20 points, with every role player getting in on the scoring act around Durant. Josh Okogie – more thought of for his defensive abilities – has been a nice surprise on that end as well. On any given night these players look comfortable backing Durant up when called upon.
Getting one of the other two stars back on this trip would help the team’s offensive rating immensely, but the Suns can’t look to that as an excuse either. They need to do a better job collectively in blowing teams away because they were built to do this, and if they can’t achieve that in November then what hope do they have come the spring?
Nice as it would be to believe that all three of their main players will be healthy when it matters, history has shown us that is not always the case. The entire team needs to be contributing more on this end already, to create a cohesive unit no matter who is out on the court. Filling it up against the Bulls and Pistons seems like the remedy for their so-so offensive rating up to this point.