Phoenix Suns' Michael Redd Returning To Form, Filling Desperate Need As Reliable Scorer

We're going to see a lot of this in 2012, and it's badly needed. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Michael Redd is on a roll, and just maybe a Phoenix Suns team with very few reliable scorers has found themselves a reliable scorer. Whoda thunk it would be Michael Redd after all those injuries?

Redd said he knows people in Milwaukee and elsewhere felt his career was over after two surgeries for anterior-cruciate ligament tears in the same knee, per Paul Coro, beat writer for and the Arizona Republic. But he said he never questioned his ability to return, working individually since a brief 10-game return at the end of last season with the Bucks. "Not even in a bad way," Redd said of the doubting fans. "Like, 'He should go ahead and retire. He's had a great career.' I knew I had something left in the tank. A lot, actually. I thought I got robbed of a couple years with the ACL injuries.

"That's been the story of my career, kind of overachieving and climbing over mountains. When people say I couldn't do something, that motivated me to do it."

If he continues on his current pace (averaging 14 points in 21 minutes over last 3 games), or even improves as his rusty game returns to him, the Suns may have had a gift drop right into their laps. A gift that was desperately needed.

For scoring on this team, you can only count on Steve Nash and Marcin Gortat on a night-in night-out basis. Both will get you at least 10 point a night. Occasionally 20. All while producing 10+ a night in their secondary category (rebounds/assists) as well.

Everyone else on the team? Scoring is a total crapshoot.

Not good. Only one guy (Jared Dudley) outside Nash and Gortat scores 10+ points at least half the time, and that was just barely.

Guess how many TOTAL 20-point games these 10 players have produced? One. That's it. Once out of 120 total chances (10 players * 12 games each)

Hence the need for a professional shooter like Michael Redd.

Redd, sporting a lifetime 19.7 point/game average, has scored more than 10 points in each of his last 3 games for the Suns. The first of those three was his first and only start this season, and the first in 2 long years of injury and rehab.

After his most recent game in Milwaukee, Redd had this to say:
"From where I came from the last couple years to get to that point to play at this level again is a miracle," Redd said, according to Paul Coro, beat writer for "The NBA is tough so to come back into form, all the hard work and tears paid off."

The Suns need reliable scoring from someone other than Steve Nash and Marcin Gortat.

It makes a whole team feel better when they KNOW who is going to score the ball when given the chance. Players like to know their role, to know where everyone fits around them. They have to know who that scorer is.

When Gortat and Nash rest, it's a total crapshoot. When they are not on the floor, you can't look at any one guy and say "he's got this. We're getting some points right now."

Now maybe they can feel good about Redd. And then everyone else can just play their part.

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