The Phoenix Suns are in some ways still trying to figure out who they are as a team, as the season ramps up going into the race for playoff position the Suns are just trying to show positive signs that they will be in this race next year from start to finish.
The playing styles over the last few weeks have been up and down, players in and out of the line up all season and chemistry has eluded them as a result.
Somehow Head Coach Monty Williams continued to push ahead as a first year Coach of the Orange, putting the pieces together that fit and generates a squad that will compete every night.
The last two games the Suns beat the playoff race team The Portland Trailblazers and the next game they take down the east leading Milwaukee Bucks, both games won in dominate fashion which brings the confusion as to what this Planet Orange team will be going forward.
The resurgence of center Aron Baynes has been amazing, in his last two games he has scored a total of 61 points and 23 rebounds adding 3 blocks and an amazing 13 of 25 three point shots. The team has had great balance at scoring the ball, scoring a total of 267 points and 59 assist in those last two ball games.
This type of production was suppose to come from the teams number one pick over all center De’Andre Ayton being on the floor, who went down with his third ankle tweak injury of the season after returning from a 25 game suspension.
Aytons returns from suspension and injury seem to give the team more problems then solutions, as the team chemistry finally gets stable he returns and the line up gets shuffled around and the team as a unit turns into confusion and it shows on the court.
Soon Ayton will return again from injury, but what should Monty Williams do as a coach, does he keep Baynes as the hot hand in the starting line up or does he force Ayton back to that position.
The key to the teams success is the three point shooting of Aron Baynes, as he spreads the floor as a threat opening up one-on-one match ups for Booker and others.
The double team and blitz to Devin Booker slows down and he is able to operate and be effective, but the return of Ayton will stop that momentum because he doesn’t shot the three.
In fact, the defender knows that when Ayton gets the ball on top he is not ever looking to shoot a three point shot, they wait and play the pass off to Booker and double on him making the defense job that much easier.
De’Andre Ayton simply needs to play with an aggressive style that compliments his counter part Booker, that may mean he needs to learn to be more instinctive rather than predictable and be a threat to shoot outside and roll to the rim with bad intentions.
Before his latest injury he was getting better at controlling the paint, but his hands are not very solid to catch the surprise dish or rebound, and he still goes passive underneath the rim at times.
In the end this will be on Head Coach Monty Williams having to juggle the development of his young starting center, while at the same time keep some form of team chemistry that causes wins and good play on the court.
This task will not be easy as the young immature mind being benched could give his confidence a big hit, and the veteran that is producing getting benched may mentally check out the rest of the season.
Regardless to the outcome, this Suns teams need stability and leadership, and that can only come from your veterans like Baynes, and at this point the young guy watching him is probably the best way to go, injury or no injury.