Phoenix Suns Player Thermometer, Week 8: Gortat Back To Polish Hammering

It was a week in which the Phoenix Suns got throttled by the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Lakers got throttled by the Phoenix Suns. The team also lost a back-to-back-to-back that was painful to watch. But, Marcin Gortat got some of his groove back and Channing Frye seems to have found some consistency. Also, Steve Nash distributed the ball like only Cap'n Nash can. As is the norm for this year's team, this week was a mixed bag.

Here are this week's player rankings, with their previous week's rank in parentheses.

1. Steve Nash (1): Nash continues to drag the Suns machine along. Even at 38 years of age, his numbers are similar to those from his MVP years. He's had a fun time distributing the ball this week: In the four games he did not sit out, he had 14, 16, 17, and 14 assists. It always helps those assist numbers when your role players are hitting their shots. (Justin Burning)

2. Marcin Gortat (4): Gortat was killer this week, posting four double-doubles in five games. He also scored over 20 points in three of those five games, providing a solid offensive punch for a team that has struggled to score at times this season. Perhaps most impressive is his first quarter, nine-rebound performance against the Lakers on Sunday. His ability to snag boards from the likes of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol can only bode well for his future production. (Nikil Selvam)

3. Channing Frye (2): Frye was up and down during the week, scoring 18, seven, 13, five, and 13. His best overall game was against the Hawks with 13 points, 11 boards, and two blocks. (Jess Root)

4. Michael Redd (5): Though Redd hasn't quite been the player he was when he was making All-Star squads, he's become a relatively consistent producer for the Suns. Much of his production this week was during losses, but it still helps to have someone who can put the ball through the hoop. (JB)

5. Grant Hill (6): Grant Hill has taken the mantle of "lockdown defender" that he was given last season and run with it this year. In lieu of scoring punch, Grant's basically shutdown the other team's top scorer. He had Kobe Bryant twice this week and, as usual, made him work for his points. Defending would seem to get harder as one ages, but Grant's grown more adept. (JB)

6. Jared Dudley (3): Dudley had a pretty quiet week before Sunday's 102-90 victory over the Lakers. After scoring just 25 points in the previous three games combined, Dudley came through with 25 against the Lakers and helped put L.A. away in the fourth quarter. Now we can only hope that Dudley continues knocking down shots. (NS)

7. Markieff Morris (7): The rookie played solid this week. He blocked at least one shot every single game. He also scored in double figures in four of the team's five games. His best game of the week was against the Nuggets with 21 points, six rebounds, two blocks, and four steals. (JR)

8. Robin Lopez (9): The other Lopez continues to struggle finding consistent ways to contribute to the team. He has yet to show any of the flash he showed in the first game of the season. He seems okay with being the backup big man who just eats up minutes while the starter rests. (JB)

9. Sebastian Telfair (10): Bassy, after getting a step up in minutes, saw his court time and numbers drop again this week, as Coach Gentry continues mixing up his bench rotations. He averaged 2 points over 11.5 minutes this week. The guards never seem to know if it will be Telfair, Price, or Brown backing up Nash, and it might not be helping them. (JB)

10. Shannon Brown (12): Brown didn't see much action this week, playing in only three of the team's five games and not producing a whole lot while on the floor. He had a chance to produce in Denver with Nash and Hill sitting out, but he only came through with eight points and one assist in 23 minutes. He did score 15 points against his old Lakers squad on Friday night, so it wasn't a completely down week for Shannon. (NS)

11. Ronnie Price (11): Price's only real impact was his start in place of Steve Nash against the Nuggets. He scored 10 points and dished out six assists, but shot 2-11 and had five turnovers. Outside that game, he logged only nine minutes. (JR)

12. Josh Childress (8): Childress finds himself once again out of the rotation. He did play 19 minutes against Denver, grabbing five rebounds and three assists, but he hasn't done much else this week. Unfortunately, Childress's inability to hit outside shots hurts a team desperately looking for perimeter scoring. (JB)

13. Hakim Warrick (13): The War Machine's minutes were super sparse this week, though he did get off the bench twice. He's another victim of Gentry's ever-changing rotations. (JB)

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