2. Fourth-quarter collapses
A strange thing has happened to the Suns so far this season, and that has been their terrible play during the fourth-quarter of games. Which is puzzling, because they have a group full of veterans who know exactly what it takes to pull away from most opponents and close out games.
Instead this roster ranks dead last in fourth-quarter points at 21.8. Any team that has Durant on it should never find themselves propping up an offensive list of any kind, but perhaps that speaks to the larger problem of having Durant play 39 minutes and score 38 points, and still lose to the Lakers.
If the bulk is on a 35-year-old to put up 30 each night, then you are going to struggle over the course of an 82 game season. Younger teams are going to catch on to this one person act that is more reminiscent of a rebuilding roster, and react accordingly. A recent example of this was the Detroit Pistons, and although the Suns won that game, it wasn’t as easy as it should have been.
Durant is one of the first players in the entire league you think of when you need a bucket in the fourth-quarter of a close game. Only that doesn’t work as well when he has spent the preceding three quarters doing the exact same thing. Until the Suns can get Booker back and learn to finish games properly, this group are pretenders and not contenders.