Three-time former NBA All-Star highlights what is wrong with the Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns have failed to live up to expectations this season, and three-time former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas knows exactly why that is.
Phoenix Suns v Houston Rockets
Phoenix Suns v Houston Rockets / Alex Bierens de Haan/GettyImages

The Phoenix Suns managed to put a positive spin on an otherwise disappointing month on Wednesday, as they won their final road game of the season over the Houston Rockets. The 129-113 win a much needed result, with the Suns looking comfortable throughout and at one point leading by more than 20 points.

Kevin Durant was at his best in this one - notching his 18th career triple-double - while Eric Gordon came alive against his former team. His 27 points equalling that of Durant, and putting to bed any lingering notions that his recent comments on being unhappy with his role were going to carry over to the New Year.

The win also lifted the Suns up to the 10th spot in the Western Conference, which is absolutely not where they thought they would be with the calendar about to flip to 2024. But the team are now back in the play-in spots, and moved back to .500 with the victory as well. A timely win that could be just the tonic they need to kickstart their season.

Not that former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas sees is quite that way, and he gave his two cents on the Suns' season-long struggles after the game.

Arenas was speaking with Shannon Sharpe on their Nightcap podcast after the win in Houston, and gave up the following reason as to why the Suns have failed to live up to expectations so far this season;

"With the Suns, they have a great starting five... we know who is coming to play. Kevin Durant, (Devin) Booker. That is the core of that team. It's trying to find, that sixth, seventh, eighth guy who can give you consistent play."

Gilbert Arenas

It might seem like Arenas is pointing out the obvious here - but if that is the case - then why did the front office make the moves that they did up to this point, and which has hampered the ability to flesh out their roster? Durant and Booker are a fantastic starting point, and it would be even better if Bradley Beal could get healthy and join them.

But outside of these three, how many of their players would other teams be queueing up to try and trade for? Grayson Allen is probably the only one who has any real value, while the now 35-year-old Gordon likely sees his own value fluctuate depending on how he is playing. His outspoken comments recently doing little to help team chemistry either.

When Sharpe brought up the fact that Durant (41 minutes), Booker (36 minutes) and Gordon (39 minutes) had to play so much against a frisky - but likely not ready to make the playoffs yet - Rockets group, Arenas really hit the nail on the head in explaining why the Suns are struggling.

"Who else they got on that team? You goin' to put Bol Bol in? You goin' to put Yuta Watanabe in? They don't have anyone on the bench so he (Durant) have to play 41 minutes."

Gilbert Arenas

Which is exactly the problem here. As a result of Beal being limited to only six games so far this season, Allen has had to start all 25 games he has played in, while Gordon has had start 19 of the 26 he has appeared in. In an ideal world, Beal and Josh Okogie would round out a starting five alongside Durant, Booker and Jusuf Nurkic.

This would allow both Allen and Gordon to do their thing off the bench, and it would be great if Watanabe could help some as well. This in turn would lead to Jordan Goodwin being the point guard for the second unit, with sprinklings of Chimezie Metu and Nassir Little in there as well. Even Saben Lee if the matchup called for it.

Next. Evaluating the job head coach Frank Vogel has done with the Suns. Evaluating the job head coach Frank Vogel has done with the Suns. dark

Instead Allen and Gordon have to start most of the games they play, which leads to a complete over-reliance through 30 games on Durant, Booker and those two guys. This in turn has led to the poor defensive rating the Suns have put forth, although even worse has been the middling offensive rating, as that was expected to carry this group through the regular season.

So although Arenas is saying what may appear obvious to many fans out there, the even bigger problem with his statement is the fact the Suns can't do much to change their situation. They have no cap room, no first round picks this decade and very few players other teams would be interested in. Which will make finding that sixth, seventh and eighth man an almost impossible task for the Suns.