2013-14 NBA Season Preview: Phoenix Suns

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2013-14 NBA SEASON PREVIEW CONTENT LIST
Atlantic: Celtics | Nets | Knicks | 76ers | Raptors | Division Preview 1 and 2
Central: Bulls | Cavaliers | Pistons | Pacers | Bucks | Division Preview
Southeast: Hawks | Bobcats | Heat | Magic | Wizards | Division Preview
Pacific: Warriors | Clippers | Lakers | Suns | Kings | Division Preview
Northwest: Nuggets | Timberwolves | Thunder | Trail Blazers | Jazz | Division Preview
Southwest: Mavericks | Rockets | Grizzlies | Pelicans | Spurs | Division Preview
Top 10 by Position: PG | SG | SF | PF | C
Top 10 Lists: Sixth Men | Sophomores | X-Factors | Intensity | Under 25 | Comeback | GMs | Europeans | Overrated | Contenders | Wild Predictions
Fantasy Basketball | NBA Fandom Games | League Preview | Ultimate Season Predictions
Media Day: Lakers | Clippers | Kings | Knicks | Bucks | Suns | Pacers

BMF PHO 2013 14 NBA Season Preview: Phoenix Suns

Most Important Player: Goran Dragic
He’s the motor of the offense and the only player the Phoenix Suns have committed to for the foreseeable future. The Suns will rely on Dragic to take care of the ball and become a more consistent scorer.

X-Factor: Alex Len
The Suns desperately need a 20-10 guy in the frontcourt that can protect the paint and score on the low block. While they don’t expect Len to become a star from the get-go, he needs to prove that he can compete with NBA bigs and stay healthy for the majority of the season.

Rotations: The Suns are loaded at the point guard spot with Dragic, Eric Bledsoe and Kendall Marshall ready to contribute and hope that the Morris twins can play their fair share of minutes down the stretch. Dragic and Shannon Brown will most likely get the starting nod in the backcourt, and Marcin Gortat should keep his starting job at center unless Alex Len proves otherwise. It will be interesting to see who emerges at power forward between the Morris twins and Channing Frye, with either Gerald Green or Marcus Morris (the smaller of the twins) possibly sliding into the starting small forward role.

What Needs to Go Right: The NBA Draft Lottery next year. Even if Alex Len comes in midseason and puts up solid numbers, I don’t see Phoenix finishing any better than 10th in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. This roster is very young and needs more time to develop, so the Suns should hope they can be legitimate players in the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes.

It’s Really Bad If: Len is plagued by injuries the entire season and Dragic can’t control the offense. None of the players on this roster are proven commodities. The Suns do not have a go-to scorer and lack physical toughness on defense.

Bold Predictions: Since the Suns had the worst record in the West last season, is it bold to say that they will finish in the top 12? The Suns are headed straight for the draft lottery and should hope the bottom-feeders in the East become better so they have better lottery odds.

PLAYER PROFILES

Eric Bledsoe, PG
Strengths: Athleticism, ability to score in transition.
Weaknesses: Turnover-prone, a spotty jump-shot.
Season Prediction: Goran Dragic called Bledsoe a “mini LeBron James,” so expect Bledsoe to excel in the Suns’ transition offense and become their go-to guy off the bench.

Shannon Brown, SG
Strengths: Quickness, a leaper, high energy on defense.
Weaknesses: Shot selection, weak perimeter game.
Season Prediction: Brown will get his fair share of high-flying dunks in the up-tempo offense but don’t expect him to contribute much more.

Goran Dragic, PG
Strengths: A dynamic playmaker with a quick first step.
Weaknesses: Has shot 32.6 percent from three the last two years combined.
Season Prediction: Dragic will post career highs in the scoring and assists categories.

Channing Frye, PF
Strengths: Three-point shooting.
Weaknesses: Missed last season with an enlarged heart due to dilated cardiomyopathy.
Season Prediction: If healthy, Frye will return to his old form and consistently knock down perimeter shots for the Suns.

Archie Goodwin, SG
Strengths: Efficient shooting, ability to get the charity stripe.
Weaknesses: Perimeter defense.
Season Prediction: Goodwin will provide a positive spark off the bench and look to attack the basket on every possession.

Marcin Gortat, C
Strengths: Strong finisher.
Weaknesses: Suffered the least efficient season of his career last season.
Season Prediction: Gortat will be Phoenix’s main option on the low block and will effectively run the pick-and-roll with Dragic.

Gerald Green, SF/SG
Strengths: Athleticism.
Weaknesses: Inconsistency.
Season Prediction: Green will log very few minutes off the bench due to his limited skill set and poor shot selection.

Viacheslav Kravtsov, C
Strengths: Strength, size.
Weaknesses: Very unpolished on both ends of the floor.
Season Prediction: Buried in the depth chart, Slava will see little of the floor this season.

Malcolm Lee, SG
Strengths: Three-point shooting.
Weaknesses: Ball handling.
Season Prediction: Lee could earn some playing time by showing that he can consistently knock down an open jump-shot.

Alex Len, C
Strengths: Footwork/quickness and a developed post game.
Weaknesses: Played only one full season as a starter in college.
Season Prediction: Len will struggle this year, as he needs time to adjust to the NBA game and gain some experience going up against big men in the pros.

Kendall Marshall, PG
Strengths: Court vision, basketball IQ.
Weaknesses: Decision-making, no jump-shot.
Season Prediction: Marshall will have to earn his playing time behind Bledsoe and Dragic, so don’t expect him to lead this offense for a prolonged period in games.

Markieff Morris, PF
Strengths: Low-post scoring.
Weaknesses: Rebounding, shot selection.
Season Prediction: Markieff will get more minutes this year and show more dominance on the defensive end.

Marcus Morris, SF/PF
Strengths: Has a jump-shot.
Weaknesses: Rebounding, quickness.
Season Prediction: Marcus will not see as much playing time as his twin brother, but his diverse skill set will be relied on off the bench.

Miles Plumlee, PF/C
Strengths: Rebounding, physical toughness.
Weaknesses: Has no offensive game.
Season Prediction: If the Suns give Plumlee a chance, he will be a great enforcer in the paint and boost their rebounding totals.

P.J. Tucker, SF
Strengths: Can shoot the ball consistently.
Weaknesses: Perimeter defense.
Season Prediction: I don’t see Tucker getting minutes over the rest of the Suns bench. He’ll spend most of the time riding the pine.

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 2013 14 NBA Season Preview: Phoenix Suns

Vishal Kolar

Vishal Kolar is a screenwriter and film producer who has a passion for basketball.
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