The Suns Rising in the West

The valley of the Sun is on the verge of a basketball revival. The Phoenix Suns are teaming with young talent and are in position to develop into the next exciting NBA team. If Eric Bledsoe can stay healthy the Suns will boast a trio of guards with Brandon Knight coming off the bench and Devin Booker heading into his sophomore campaign. In addition the team added two young lottery picks in Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss in the last draft and brought in veteran help from Jared Dudley and Leandro Barbosa. This could be the first season of the rising Suns.

Early in preseason the Suns have been focused on playing their young talent and Marquese Chriss has shown some great flashes on the offensive end and has earned a starting spot. He does a great job of moving without the ball in the example below, creating a passing lane for Bledsoe to find him for a dunk. In the following game he showed his ability to take the Portland Trail Blazers’ big man off the dribble and finished with a nice spin move.

In addition to the promising rookie, the Suns have a three-headed monster at the guard position. To start the season it seems coach Earl Watson is going with a starting backcourt of Booker and Bledsoe with Knight coming off the bench. In the trio of clips, Booker faced up his defender in the post and blew by him, and finished with a reverse layup. The next example shows the explosive speed of Bledsoe who took the outlet pass and drove coast to coast for a layup. The last example shows Knight coming off of a pick-and-roll and attacking the paint.

Look for the Suns to play a more up-tempo brand of basketball. They will look to run on every miss. Similar to the Bledsoe play earlier, the Suns ran on back-to-back possessions against the Blazers. The first was a layup for Bledsoe and the second example is their secondary break action, which led to a Dudley trailer three.

The Suns are in a great position; they’ve acquired good young talent over the years. They will be able to bring Bender along slowly who seems to be a little further away than Chriss. They have plenty of veteran leadership from Tyson Chandler, Barbosa, and Dudley to provide a strong culture for their young talent. They have a potential Rookie of the Year candidate is Chriss and a Sixth Man of the Year candidate is Knight. These Suns will be rising in the West in the next few seasons.

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