When the Phoenix Suns struggled out of the gate, we took a look at some key stats that they needed to improve on to right the ship. It was thought at the time that getting Bradley Beal back would fix some of those issues the Suns were having, but that didn't materialize.
Beal came back for three brief games before re-aggravating his back injury, which has kept him out since then. Devin Booker, conversely, was able to leave his early season injury woes in the dust, and has assumed the full-time point guard duties to kick start the Suns season.
1. Bringing the turnover numbers down
Point Book's effect has been seen the most dramatically in the Suns’ turnover numbers. The in-season tournament game against the Los Angeles Lakers notwithstanding, the Suns have actually done a much better job of taking care of the ball than they did to begin the year.
Since Book returned to the Suns' lineup on November 15th, they’ve only turned the ball over 13.9 times per game which is 20th in the NBA since then. This has brought the Suns' season turnover rank from the third-worst in the league, up to the sixth-worst.
That’s still not a great ranking, but they’re definitely trending in the right direction. Beal’s eventual return will make those numbers even better, as the Suns will have a primary ball-handler on the floor at all times.
Still, without a true point guard anywhere on the roster, it's possible that the Suns won't ever be a top 10 team when it comes to taking care of the ball. But that might not matter if they continue to excel everywhere else on offense. Just being in the top half of the league might be good enough for this team.