The fourth quarter hasn’t been the friend of the Phoenix Suns this season. In all ten games they’ve played, the fans lose confidence in the team every time the fourth quarter approaches. The Suns are currently the worst team in the fourth quarter and need to address this problem soon.
The Suns are 4-6 right now, and they’ve lost back-to-back games. The team isn’t terrible, as they often build a significant amount of lead through the first three quarters.
During their first matchup against the San Antonio Spurs, they had an 18-point lead to start the second half.
Everything was going smoothly until the Spurs slowly mounted a comeback. The Suns held their lead in the fourth period, but their four crucial turnovers ruined the night.
Turnovers aren’t the only problem that Phoenix has experienced. They relied heavily on the attempting shots from beyond the arc. The Suns attempted 20 threes in the first half and made 50 percent of them.
The team followed it up with a 66.7 percent shooting from downtown in the third period, making six out of their nine attempts. However, it all crumbled in the final period, as the collective team only made two out of their ten attempts.
It happened again in their previous game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, as they shot 1-8 in the final period. These problems reflect that the Suns need someone who can handle the rock well and help execute their offense fluently.
Even Kevin Durant knows how badly the Suns have performed during the fourth quarter.
"“It just comes down to missed shots. What’d we shoot from the field in the 4th?” Durant said when addressing the team’s fourth quarter problems. “I mean, we can’t win games that way. No matter how good — No matter what names you got on the roster, ‘How many points they scored in the history of the game,’ if we cannot make shots that night, you can’t win.”"
The front office is trying to innovate something out of their lineup. The Suns were confident coming into the season that they didn’t have a point guard in the starting lineup. They only have one legit point guard on the team, Jordan Goodwin.
As much as fans (me included) have been huge supporters of Goodwin this season, he won’t be enough for the team to reach its title potential. Goodwin doesn’t have much experience, and he’s made a few costly turnovers this season. What the team needs is an experienced point guard to help their campaign.
A veteran point guard could help the team focus on executing their plays efficiently, especially in the fourth period. Occasionally, they turn to Durant, Grayson Allen, Eric Gordon, or anyone on the court to bring up the ball. That strategy could work if the team doesn’t heavily rely on it.
Asking KD to bring up the ball and implement their offense is too much for the 35-year-old star. For this reason alone, the Suns star is registering his highest turnover average, career-wise.
The team needs the two-time Finals MVP to bring the ball up at times, but he also has to look for his shots. With a point guard who can effectively set up his teammates and take care of the ball, the Suns could last all four quarters. It doesn’t matter if they have Devin Booker, as they’ve lost to teams that many consider are beatable.
Frank Vogel’s system will also take time for the team to execute appropriately. The team will have difficulties learning a new structure and contend for a title simultaneously. This isn’t indicating that their title hopes are gone, but patience will significantly factor into their fate this season.