One of the curses, if you must call it that, of having one of the best point guards in all of basketball is finding a guy to back him up effectively. The Phoenix Suns have struggled with this dating back to even Kevin Johnson. They have had a few memorable ones -- Negele Knight, Elliott Perry and Frank Johnson. There have been many to forget.
Phoenix has struggled in particular since Steve Nash came to town, which i the result of his particular skill set. He makes everyone so much better because of his amazing court vision and his great shooting. When you have a guy that has no real equal, you have to go with a different skill set.
This year it is Sebastian Telfair. He is certainly not Steve Nash, but he has become a solid backup. It evenprompted beat writer Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic to tweet this:
There have been 14 backup point guards to Nash over eight years in Phoenix. Telfair has grown into being one of the best.— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) April 6, 2012
What? Did he really say that?
Telfair has not been statistically that great. He plays about 14 minutes a game. He shoots poorly (36 percent from the field and 30 percent from three). He doesn't score a lot (under five points a game), he averages under two assists and turns the ball over a little more than once a game.
What he does do is play with energy, His defensive energy maintains the offensive pace. He takes big shots when it is needed and doesn't back down from challenges. But most importantly, he doesn't screw things up.
With a guy like Nash on the team, any backup is going to look bad or at least less effective. That;s why you have to play differently and bring something else to the table. Telfair does that.
Is he one of the best backups that the team has ever had? No. But in the days of Steve Nash, he has been one of the most consistent.
At the start of the season, who would have guessed that?
Talk more Suns at Bright Side of the Sun.