This was a tough week to make the player rankings for the Phoenix Suns; with so many players doing pretty well overall, but no real stand-outs throughout the past three games. The Suns went 2-1 over the week beating the Charlotte Bobcats and the Sacramento Kings at home before losing a very winnable game against the Portland Trailblazers on the road last night.
Here's a look at this week's player rankings the way I saw them:
Weekly Average: 13 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 blocks in 33 minutes of play; +8
Gortat seems to be climbing back out of his funk now after having an even better week than his last. This week he averaged a double-double for the first time in over a month, and actually played well defensively also. His very solid stats speak for themselves, but what really earned the top spot in this week's rankings for the Polish Machine was his overall consistency.
Weekly Average: 16 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds in 35 minutes of play; +5
Dudley had another really good week, and may have earned the top spot once again if not for a sub-par shooting performance against the Trailblazers last night going 0-4 from three and scoring only 8 points overall. Still, he managed to have a positive effect on the offense by registering 10 assists and also played pretty good defense on Batum, so even when his shot isn't falling like he would hope he still finds a way to help his team.
Weekly Average: 13 points, 6 assists, 2 rebounds, 1.5 steals in 33 minutes of play; +9
Dragic had an up and down week offensively, scoring 8, 21, and 10 points respectively. Altogether, he shot only 40% from the field...not great. But what really concerns me as of late is his defense. This week, Dragic was outscored by each of his opponents Brooks, Walker, and Lillard. Of course you expect this from Lillard and maybe even Walker, but Brooks? I suppose my point is that I believe Dragic has the ability to be a much better defender than I have seen from him recently. He is a tall, fast, and pretty darn athletic point guard who should be able to win most match-ups...but he hasn't been. Still, he is the engine that makes this offense go, and we are a much better team with Dragic than we are without him.
Weekly Average: 21 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 assists in 36 minutes of play; +3
Brown was well on his way to becoming the Suns' #1 ranked player this week until his shooting percentage fell back down to Earth last night. Brown shot an astounding 77% against the Kings scoring 22 points, 63% against the Bobcats for 26 points, and then only 41% against the Blazers for 15 points. Still looking at his offense alone this week one would think he should be ranked even higher, but his defense is still a liability most of the time, and this causes his ranking to fall. Brown has the size, speed, quickness, and athleticism to defend any two-guard...If he can just focus a little more on this area of his game he could be a solid starter on almost any team in the league.
Weekly Average: 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 Blocks in 14 minutes of play; +1
When O'neal plays, you know exactly what you are going to get from him. Hard-nosed, gritty play and great post defense against any opponent. I never feel worried when O'Neal replaces Gortat, even when Marcin is having a great game. As the Suns' best defender, O'Neal gives Phoenix size and strength in the post that slows the opponent's scoring dramatically and forces many more shot attempts outside of the paint. In my opinion, O'Neal was our best player off the bench this week.
Weekly Average: 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assist in 29 minutes of play; +11
Scola had a good week overall, but really laid an egg on both ends of the court against the Blazers last night which dropped him in the weekly rankings. Scola was flat-out abused defensively by J.J. Hickson and only managed to score 6 points on 3-9 shooting as well. Scola is certainly limited against bigger, more athletic players, but he is the best overall option at power forward on most nights for what he can provide offensively.
7. P.J. Tucker
Weekly Average: 7 points, 2 rebounds in 14 minutes of play; +2
Tucker's stats once again don't reflect his true impact on the court, as he is constantly causing disruption with his energy and hustle. One area that I do think Tucker could improve in is rebounding. Tucker has the size (width) and strength to power his way inside and grab more boards than we've seen from him lately. He did this more at the beginning of the season, but he hasn't made the same impact in this area recently.
Weekly Average: 6 points, 3 assists, and 1 steal in 16 minutes of play; +2
Bassy can provide an instant spark off the bench, especially defensively. He plays with everything he's got and usually helps change the dynamic of the game when he's in. However, his ability to run the offense is still very limited, and the Suns often struggle to find open shots.
Weekly Average: 4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assist, 1 steal in 15 minutes of play; -2
The one area of Markieff's game really holding him back is his inability to finish. I'm not sure what the cause is, but I keep hoping he will figure it out. I also think Keef has the ability to be a much better defender than we've see from him on a consistent basis. He really shines at times, and at others seems lackadaisical and unmotivated.
Weekly Average: 6 points, 1 rebounds, and 1assist in 12 minutes of play; +4
Beasley is still a complete mystery. All the talent but just can't seem to get things figured out upstairs. Don't let the misleading +4 fool you...he's not playing well. Suns' President Lon Babby recently referred to Beasley as a "long-term project". Let's just hope that means less time on the court now then.
So there you have it...Feel free to voice your opinion in the comments below!