The sinking Suns

PeterNewmannThe Suns lost Eric Bledsoe with a knee injury on Dec. 26 vs the 76ers. Phoenix lost that game, their 4th straight.

Just 2 days later, the team decided to shake up its coaching staff. Assistants Mike Longabardi and Jerry Sichting were fired, as Earl Watson and Nate Bjorkgren were promoted.

 

But the Suns have yet to right the ship. It’s still sinking.

Phoenix is 2-18 since December 20. The Suns are now 20-games below .500.

OFFENSE:

The team’s pace is down 3%. Phoenix’s offensive efficiency is 29th in the league since late December (Lakers), 5% less efficient than earlier in the season.

The Suns’ effective field goal percentage has dropped 6%, from 6th in the league to 28th.

The team’s offensive rebounding is down at a 5% rate.

DEFENSE:

The defensive efficiency has seen an even bigger slide, down 8% to last in the league.

Opposing teams are shooting an effective field goal percentage 5% higher than earlier in the season, and are going to the FT line at a 17% higher rate.

Phoenix is forcing turnovers at a 13% lower rate than earlier this season. The Suns steals percentage has dropped 22% and their blocks percentage has dropped 19%. The decreases in these metrics has leaked over to hurt their offense, as the Suns are scoring 12% fewer points off turnovers per game.

Peter Newmann is an analyst and writer who spent 10 years at ESPN, 8 as the NBA senior researcher working 24/7 on the league. He wrote game notes for crews, articles for ESPN.com, analysis for studio shows, and regularly assisted reporters and writers. Follow him on Twitter, and check out his daily NBA content service at www.allball365.com.

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