USA TODAY Sports
Over the course of the three game winning streak there has been a dynamic to the offense that was not there during the seven game slide. One is the reality and the other is the anomaly, which one has consistency is up to the team.
Early in the season the Phoenix Suns were scoring off of the one man game with a lot of dribbling and very little flow, and even less rhythm. That led to some success, but ultimately was their downfall during the losing streak.
As Head Coach Alvin Gentry has said numerous times, "We are not an Iso team."
With this personnel it is pretty clear that the Suns need to have more balance and fluidity to their offense meaning passing the ball, executing, and what might be the most important factor on the offensive end -- situational scoring.
On the season not one player has stepped up as a go-to scorer, but rather a team has come together to score points when points are needed. They have not perfected the craft just yet as the season and team is young, though they have created an identity where any player can be the one that takes the shot. There is the threat of really anyone on the court of going of for 20+ (no real threats for 30+ as we have seen for 42 straight games) but on any given night depending on the open shots and defensive match-ups.
The evidence is there as the Suns have seven players who have scored 20+ points in a game this season. Goran Dragic is the leader with the ball in his hands the most as evident by his team leading four games of 20+ points and a team high 26 points on the season.
When there is fluidity to the offense they click and are able to score enough to allow their defense to win games.
The Lakers are going to Kobe Bryant, literally every time. He is great and the Suns would love to have his singular talent, but as you look at the way this current Lakers team is constructed they are easy to guard because of it.
The Washington Wizards, Cleveland Cavaliers, Sacramento Kings, and Dallas Mavericks are the same way in the fact that you can focus the defense on either letting one player get theirs or try to take them out of the game.
Who is that player on the Suns?
They do not have that and that is how they are able to win games. In losses the team is trying to Iso with fewer assists and a lack of harmony on offense. This season the team has had five games where they had two 20+ point scorers and in those games the team has averaged 22.4 assists per game and 106 points per game.
Whether it is Brown, Gortat, and Beasley against Charlotte, Dragic and Morris against New Orleans, or Brown and Dudley against the Kings the situational scorers are out there.
Essentially the team needs someone like Brown, Dudley, Scola, Dragic, Gortat, or Morris to come out and score on any given night. More importantly, they need those same names to be ok not scoring the next night when they are not needed as much. Keeping the energy on defense and on the glass despite not getting touches is a part of the offensive fluidity.
The buy in is equally as important as the execution on the court. Situationally there will be nights for certain scorers to get theirs, meaning there will be nights others do not, but it is what is needed of the team to win basketball games.
Sacrifice has been made in five games as mentioned with the team going 4-1 in those games. Can that become a consistent pattern or is that the outlier?