The Phoenix Suns are in the midst of a four-game winning streak, which couldn't have come at a better time for the organization. They are currently playing six games at home - the longest remaining homestand of the season - and have won the first three of those six games in The Valley to make up the bulk of their wins.
It is no surprise that the return to winning ways has coincided with the return of Bradley Beal to the lineup, as he looks to round himself into midseason form quickly. The 15.2 points per game he is currently averaging is way down on previous seasons, but something to keep an eye on is the impressive 39.3 percent he is shooting from deep, his best mark since 2016-17.
Beal's return alone does not explain the change in fortunes for the Suns at an important time, with three numbers from their win streak doing a better job instead.
To have achieved these wins while playing a young and hungry team like the Orlando Magic, and also to have easily brushed aside the Portland Trail Blazers with Kevin Durant missing through injury, should fill head coach Frank Vogel with confidence for the rest of the season. The Suns have also gotten help from parts of their bench that they didn't expect to during this run.
Maintaining the following numbers is going to be tough, but there is now growing evidence to support the case that this Suns group actually can be as good as many predicted they would be during the offseason. They are still a long way from being true contenders, but if nothing else, thanks to these numbers they have not only steadied the ship, they are now moving in the right direction.
3. 54 percent
Over the last four games, the Suns have had a field goal percentage of 54 percent. Not only is that a number that they should be aiming to replicate as often as possible, it is the best mark in the entire league during that time span.
It would be easy to say the the introduction of Beal alone has caused this number to go up, as for the season as a whole the team ranks 12th in this category at 47.8 percent per game. Having Beal certainly helps though, because it gives 3-point specialists such as Grayson Allen and Eric Gordon even more room to get their shots off.
Really though this number reflects the balanced offensive scheme the Suns are trying to implement every night. Which is where center Jusuf Nurkic comes in, because his abilties on that end are exactly what the front office had in mind when they traded for him to pair with Durant, Beal and Devin Booker. In his last three games, Nurkic also has 24, 19 and 18 points in winning efforts.
In December, he shot 49 percent from the field, which is the best monthly mark he has averaged so far this season. So when you combine Nurkic's abilities around the basket, the aforementioned 3-point shooting of their key role players, and the fact Durant (sixth, 29.9) and Booker (11th, 26.4) are two of the top 11 scorers in the league right now, this impressive number makes sense.