With the Phoenix Suns being short handed with injuries to both Bradley Beal and Devin Booker, their depth has come into play in order to keep them competitive. While Kevin Durant has been his usual self, other Suns players have stepped up as well.
One of the players has been Grayson Allen, who has made a major contribution over the past few games.
Allen has stepped into a starting role and showcased so far why he deserves to be amongst the stars in the starting five this season. Since Devin Booker has been out of the games since the match up with the Golden State Warriors, Allen has stepped up with some sharp shooting.
In his past three games, Allen has shot a combined 12/19 from beyond the arc. This has showcased his abilities as another threat from the three point line for opposing team defenses to worry about. Allen should get a number of opportunities open from beyond the arc with defenses focused on players such as Durant, Beal and Booker.
Allen has also been consistent at crashing the glass, averaging a solid 5.2 rebounds per game. He has shown his ability to get amongst the bigs and hit the boards hard. This same attitude has resulted in Allen providing some solid defensive plays and being instrumental to the Suns staying competitive with injuries.
There is certainly competition for the fifth starting role, with other key role players such as Josh Okogie and Eric Gordon also battling it out for the starting position. Okogie has proven to be a great part of the team’s defense structure, while Gordon has showcased his scoring abilities with a couple of 20 point games already this season.
However, Allen has stood out as bringing his all on the court and providing sudden sparks on the offensive end, while being a nuisance defensively. An example of his spark came against the Utah Jazz, where Allen sizzled in the third term. He scored 13 points and only missed one shot the entire quarter, sealing the game for the Suns.
He also showed fury during this run, slamming down some ferocious dunks throughout the course of the game. This spirit for the game is both Allen’s gift and curse, as sometimes it has resulted in him being labelled as a dirty player.
This reputation was gained in Milwaukee where there were a number of incidents of plays on the court by Allen. He addressed this after being traded to the Suns during media day, with Allen showing a lot of maturity.
Allen was a main piece in the trade that saw Deandre Ayton leave the Suns and Damian Lillard move to Milwaukee. While many questioned the Suns for acquiring Jusuf Nurkic over Deandre Ayton, the move has seen a gem such as Allen shine in Phoenix. The potential for the sharpshooter with this Phoenix team is unknown.
While Allen could very well end up as the sixth man option for the Suns, his elite two way ability would see him slide in quite well amongst the starters. Only time will tell if he is able to lock down the role.