It was a promising week in Phoenix, as the hometown squad went 3-1 (although the competition wasn't spectacular, and they avoided Jeremy Lin altogether). Outside of the actual wins, it was good to see Channing Frye and Jared Dudley make their presences known. It wasn't quite as nice to see Gortat's play drop off, but he's shown he's a consistent player, so we'll forgive this little blip. The key for the team this week was finding their offensive touch again. You have to give this team credit: they do seem to play effective defense most of the time; so when they score, it gives them a good chance to win.
Here are this week's player rankings, with their previous week's rank in parentheses.
1. Steve Nash (1): The Suns went 3-1 and Nash was a major reason why. Nash posted double-digit assists in all four games this week, averaging 12.5 dimes a game this week. Although Nash only had four points against the Kings, he still averaged 15 points this week.
2. Channing Frye (10): Channing had, by far, his best week of the season. He exploded for 17.8 points and six rebounds in four games, including nabbing 21/10 in a losing effort against Houston. He's still inconsistent (zero rebounds in 27 minutes against the Kings??), but his production is on the uptick. Frye doesn't need to be the team's second-best player, but he needs to keep up his shooting percentages.
3. Jared Dudley (3): Both Channing Frye and Jared Dudley found their shooting touch this week. The Junkyard Dog shot a scorching 63 percent from the floor in four games this year after coming back injury. He had 20 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks, and two steals in the win against the Kings, and averaged 14.3 points in the other three. The Suns are a decent team when all of their core players are contributing.
4. Marcin Gortat (2): Marcin had one of his worst statistical games (against the Hawks, with eight points and nine rebounds) and one in which he looked just not quite right (against Houston). He also had two very good games, including a 15-point, seven-rebound, and four-block performance against the Kings, all while getting a little bit inside the head of DeMarcus Cousins. On the downside, he had his streak of consecutive games with a block ended in Milwaukee.
5. Michael Redd (6): Redd had his most productive week as a member of the Suns last week. Redd averaged 11 points in four games played and averaged over 19 minutes a game. Redd was 7-14 from the field against Milwaukee, and he will likely continue to see an increase in his minutes this week.
6. Grant Hill (4): Hill's week was a mixed bag. He had two solid games sandwiched by two ""meh"" games. In a way, Hill's at least been consistent in not quite being the same player he has been for the Suns the past few years. Overall, his averages are way down across the board, but he still finds ways to help the team.
7. Markieff Morris (5): Markieff definitely seems more comfortable back to playing a bench role. Though most of his week wasn't notable, he came through with 18 points, six rebounds, and three blocks to help the Suns topple the Kings. The key for coach Gentry will be finding what makes Morris tick and putting one of the team's most talented players in a position to contribute every night.
8. Josh Childress (8): After having perhaps his best stretch as a Phoenix Sun, Josh Childress sort of disappeared again. His playing time was pretty consistent (except against the Kings), but outside of a 12-rebound carom-splosion against Milwaukee, he's been unproductive.
9. Robin Lopez (12): Lopez disappeared this week. He only played 11 and 13 minutes in the first two games of the week, but they were effective minutes ( six points, five boards and six points, two boards). After that, he went scoreless the next two games, playing only a total of 13 minutes.
10. Sebastian Telfair (9): Telfair had nine points, three rebounds and three assists against Atlanta. However, Telfair did not score a point the rest of the week, he did have four assists in seven minutes against Sacramento.
11. Ronnie Price (11): Had it not been for a Steve Nash bloody lip, Price would have been invisible. He had a DNP, and in two other games, he played a combined six minutes. Against Sacramento, he scored six points in 13 minutes on 3-3 shooting. His playing time has effectively been taken away by Sebastian Telfair and Michael Redd.
12. Shannon Brown (7): Shannon's week is easily summed up as follows: DNP-CD.
13. Hakim Warrick (13): Warrick has found himself out of the rotation and did not see action in any game last week.