In the last seven games, the Phoenix Suns have lost five, with two wins coming against teams not even in playoff contention. The Suns have surely missed Durant in these games, and now with Ayton out, the Suns may lose the 4th Seed. What has gone right and wrong over the last two weeks?
Suns Performance in the Last 7 Games
When it comes to the offense for the Suns, they have performed well. As a team, they are shooting right around 49% from the field and have also rebounded the ball well. However, they have played bad defense, with opponent teams shooting over 50% and committing far too many fouls. Some of the issues are with the whistle, but the Suns have to play better defense.
It is said time and time again that “Defense Wins Championships,” and that is what the Suns have to believe in going forward.
Bismack Biyambo has to step up in defense and be consistent while protecting the paint. Cam Payne has not played well in this stretch and certainly lacks consistency in scoring the ball.
The Suns’ bench has not yet performed at a high level, struggling with consistent production, and that is what has caused the team to lose 5 of their last 7.
Wasted D. Book’s 46-point effort vs. OKC
Oklahoma City Thunder, who are currently fighting for a play-in spot and shot 50 % from the field. Phoenix could not stop fouling, and the Thunder took 36 free-throw attempts in that game.
Booker had 46 points, but it was not enough for the Suns. Phoenix failed to make key stops and fouled the opposing players too many times.
Shai-Gilgeous-Alexander had a 40-point night. He shot 12-24 from the field. He took 19 free throw attempts and made 16 of them. Free throw attempts are a definite reason as to why Phoenix lost that game, but not the only reason, there is no doubt Phoenix misses Kevin Durant.
When Will KD come back?
According to Shams Charania, Durant will hopefully be back by the end of March or early April.
If Kevin Durant returns before April, he will still have 6-7 games remaining to build team chemistry and make for another title push.
While KD’s out of the line-up, the team must still find ways to step up and not fall from the 4th seed. They are one game away from falling into the 5th seed and two games away from the 6th. With the Western Conference stacked from top-to-bottom, one does wonder who may end up in the playoffs or the play-in spots and completely out.