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Have The Suns Found Their Next Great Bench Scorer?

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As a team made up collectively of 15 individuals you are not going to solve all of your plights overnight, or even in six games despite what some other teams think. That explains why this team is even for the season in terms of wins and losses so far. What the Phoenix Suns have been able to do is chip away at those quandaries as the season progresses.

One glaring issue coming into the season was the team's lack of a punch off the bench, offensively.

When evaluating the bench coming into the season the likes of Sebastian Telfair, Shannon Brown, P.J. Tucker, Markieff Morris, Jermaine O'Neal, Wesley Johnson, and Kendall Marshall was a group not identified by scoring, but more by defense, youth, inexperience, and energy. That is very odd to the casual fan as Telfair, Brown, and O'Neal made their names for different respective reasons as offensive players.

Overall the team still lacks a traditional play-maker off of the bench, but Brown has taken over the role as the teams' go-to scorer off of the pine. In three losses this season Brown scored just 10.6 points per and shot 34.4% from the field both respectable, but neither worth of discussion as a great bench player. Two of those games were close for the most part and the shots were just not falling for Brown as the Suns lost.

"I have always been a scorer. I didn't get into this league because of nothing else," said Brown about his impressive run as of late. "But as far as working myself up I try to get better every day, every summer, every season, and be a student of the game. I try to contribute to this team in any way, it just so happens that I am scoring points."

That scoring prowess is something this team sorely needs as they have lacked a true sixth man that can come in, and when needed, close out games for the team.

In that sense Leandro Barbosa was the last great Suns Sixth Man and that was four years ago when he was coming off of the bench for the team scoring 15.4 points per game as the Brazilian Blur.

Right now Brown does not have a cool nickname to boast his scoring ability or even the mindset of the teams closer.

"You call it whatever you want to, I am a basketball player. The other day I hit six threes they asked me if I was a three point shooter I said no I just make threes."

When you do what Brown has been doing in the fourth quarters this season especially in wins the talk is going to come. Like scoring 10 points to ward off the Pistons, or nail six threes against the Bobcats, and putting your team on you back during a 26 point comeback with 12 points in the final period is going to garner some recognition and Brown is going to get called a lot of things. A lot of very positive things.

Danny Manning, Rodney Rogers, and Barbosa have all won Sixth Man Awards while other greats like Joe Johnson (started off as a reserve), Tony Delk, Rex Chapman, Cedric Ceballos, Dan Majerle, and Mike Sanders have played the part for the Suns over the years. It is a tradition here that the team has that one, go-to player, off of the bench when the team needs it.

Brown does not want to be called a closer or a three-point shooter which is fine, because right now he has done each in three games, not in six, but he is proving he is one heck of a basketball player that is key to the Suns winning basketball games.

If he finds consistency like the Blur did then the Suns may have found another diamond that four other NBA teams could not find in the rough. Another journeyman if you will that is only hitting his stride now, seven years into his career, and with his fifth team.