The Phoenix Suns’ 19-18 start to the season has been nothing short of disappointing. Whether it’s injuries, a lack of chemistry, or no real game plan, it seems like all of these issues have been recurring for the Suns throughout the year.
One of the main problems has been coaching. Fans have expressed disappointment with the new head coach, Frank Vogel, and assistant coach Kevin Young. Both were expected to excel in their coaching roles, but both have faced challenges in doing so. Kevin Young’s offensive live game plan has been filled with mostly iso ball, leading to poor decision-making. Additionally, Vogel’s defensive schemes have not lived up to expectations.
This could also be attributed to the Suns not having a lockdown defensive-minded wing, someone who can guard positions 1 through 5 and make the opposing team’s stars’ nights difficult. Fortunately for Phoenix, the trade deadline is approaching, offering potential options to improve on this side of the ball.
Devin Booker has also faced challenges recently. While it is understandable given his adjustment to a new role and getting used to new teammates, Booker’s numbers in the last 10 games have dropped to 23.8 PPG, 7.3 APG, and 4.3 PPG. These numbers are not bad, but for Devin Booker, the PPG is somewhat underwhelming. Historically, Booker has gone through early/midseason struggles, and this may be just another rough stretch for him that he will likely overcome soon.
The main issue for the Suns throughout the year has been their fourth-quarter presence. In two years, the Suns went from being one of the best fourth-quarter teams to one of the worst. So far, in the 2023-2024 season, the Suns are historically one of the worst fourth-quarter teams with a -16.1 net rating. This has been a persistent problem that needs to be addressed by the team collectively before it becomes too late in the season, potentially leading to an early playoff exit.
In conclusion, the Suns’ problems are fixable. They need to make a few trades, acquiring a backup point guard and a defensive-minded wing, adopt a new offensive scheme, and develop more team chemistry to become the hard-playing, scrappy team Coach Vogel preached about all offseason. While there is still a long way to go in the season, time is ticking for the Phoenix Suns.