Frank Vogel gives blunt response to Phoenix Suns' turnover problems

The Phoenix Suns have a turnover problem, not that head coach Frank Vogel seems in the mood to go into much detail as to why that is.

Boston Celtics v Phoenix Suns
Boston Celtics v Phoenix Suns / Chris Coduto/GettyImages
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The Phoenix Suns have hit the business end of the regular season, and they have performed how many predicted they would so far this season. When they are healthy they look like they could beat anybody else in the league in a single game, even if doing so in a seven game series would be another story.

They now have their trio of superstars back and playing, with Devin Booker back from an ankle sprain in the recent win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. As long as all three of them are on the court - and more importantly if they can score at the level we're used to seeing - then this Suns group cannot be written off entirely.

On the other end of the spectrum however it is clear this franchise has a turnover problem this season, and head coach Frank Vogel doesn't want to hear it.

The Suns turn the ball over 14.9 times per game, which ranks a lowly 26th in the league. There are several reasons as to why this could be, and not having Bradley Beal for half of the season definitely didn't help. Neither did Booker becoming the full-time point guard and although he has performed admirably, this was always going to be a shift that brought with it growing pains.

Never is this more apparent than when Booker is out injured, with everybody from center Jusuf Nurkic to backup floor general Saben Lee spending more time on the ball. Attempting not only to create offensively, but to also take care of the ball and ensure that the Suns aren't coughing up possession more frequently than they should.

The question of turnovers and whether the Suns wouldn't be so careless with the ball if they had a traditional point guard was put to head coach Frank Vogel recently, and he had this to say to the assembled media -

Well... that's that then. Coach Vogel was clearly not interested in being drawn into a longer conversation on the merits of having an established point guard running the show, and so far he's been proven correct. There would be no spot for Booker, Beal, Nurkic, Kevin Durant and the best 3-point shooter in the league in Grayson Allen if that was the case.

It might seem ridiculous to group Allen in with those guys - he's looking to get paid this summer and this level of play is probably unsustainable - but the fact is he has played extremely well, spaces the floor brilliantly and is underrated on the defensive end at this stage.

Besides, who would the Suns have gotten to play point guard who would actually move the needle forward? They had no assets or picks to trade to get anybody worth going after, while the buyout market has proven, as it so often does, to be overrated by every team in the league.

Is it not better to have Booker and Beal share the duties as they have? After all, the team ranks 10th in offensive rating (117.0), a pleasantly surprising 13th defensively (114.2), eighth in free-throw percentage (80.4 percent) and 14th in assists per game (26.5). Put all of those together, and that is a pretty competitive unit, with closers in Durant and Booker to get them over the line.

3 Suns who will fall out of the team's playoff rotation. 3 Suns who will fall out of the team's playoff rotation. dark. Next

It is hard to be elite in every area in any given season - although the Boston Celtics are certainly giving it a go this campaign - and coach Vogel would likely have conceded a higher turnover rate if it meant being above average defensively and nearing elite when scoring the basketball.

The only hope is that the Suns take better care of the ball when the postseason starts and the games slow down, while giving Booker and Beal more reps together wouldn't hurt their chances either. Coach Vogel is right not to entertain if the franchise has a turnover problem this season though, because it would involve changing their entire roster construction in order to make it happen.