2. Pushing the pace
Not having Beal as an additional ball-handler has certainly hurt the Suns in the half-court, but it’s also hindered their ability to push the pace. The Suns have been a dreadful fast break team this year, scoring the 4th fewest fast break points in the league at 11.3 per game.
Having a center like Jusuf Nurkić who can make great outlet passes and even bring the ball up himself at times seems like it would be a recipe for a great fast break team, but that hasn’t been the case so far.
It seems like the Suns have opted to go the safe route and eschewed fast break opportunities in favor of setting the half-court offense. It’s hard to blame them considering their turnover problems this year. They certainly can’t risk more by having players who are unaccustomed with handling the ball trying to push the pace.
Now with Beal back, they should look to push it early and often. Athletic players like Josh Okogie and Nassir Little can thrive on these opportunities now that they can cut to the rim instead of being the ones to take the ball up. The same goes for Grayson Allen and Yuta Watanabe, who can fan out to the three point line.
The Suns have the personnel to be one of the best fast break teams in the league, and Beal returning should be the beginning of that.