Al McCoy here and you are listening to the solar panel a Phoenix Suns show.
So we are on All-Star weekend to visit the Phoenix Suns have a break. We have decided collectively that we want this to be the most positive episode on the Phoenix Suns that we have gone a very long time to talk Hawkins Phoenix Suns to find a green connect through this word.
Today’s episode Mr. Dave Bing or LA Greg Esposito I’m glad to see that we got off to the positive start with Dave saying he wants to strangle you to death the very Homer Simpson.
There’s nothing or positive about a start than saying we’re gonna be positive because not everyone accepts.
So kill me.
I figured we would start this episode and we could talk about how great Michael Bridges defense has been.
His deal percentage two point four percent puts him in the 90 first percentile among players at his position and he is holding opponents of forty five point eight percent shooting which is second to on the team tied with the Josh Jackson Rashan Holmes does have the best record if you will for keeping opponents with a lower shooting percentage and he’s doing this as a rookie rehab McKell Bridges is really fun to watch on defense I love how he slides his feet he doesn’t like hop or jump like most rookies do most rookies don’t know how to keep their feet close to the you know just sliding they generally jump in and out of position flip their hips way too quickly and McKell bridge is just really sublime watching that unfortunately he’s just a little bit thin for the kind of guys he’s being asked to guard these days and so sometimes he gets overpowered and then of course he gets put against their very best offensive player at the very end of the game and it’s hard to stop. The NBA is very best offensive players which we saw on a couple of game winners that could have snapped this 15 game losing streak at some point. So but I love the future of McKell bridges. I think he’s going to be a very very good one.
Insider he had a comparison that he put out comparing Paul Georges rookie season stats and McHale bridges and they’re eerily similar.
I don’t think Michael has the alpha mentality that Paul George had. I totally see that their skill sets are similar and I see that that McHale is going to be a very good shooter is going to be able to put the ball on the floor. He doesn’t pass very much but he plays great great defense. So I don’t. Obviously Paul George who quickly grew into an MVP caliber player and I don’t see that but it’s a really good comp for for where they are right now and in that comp is that that they’re better than their numbers suggest they are not a primary option on their teams.
As Paul George wasn’t as as a rookie either so I think this is this is a very interesting comp but I wouldn’t expect this to mean that we think that Paul George is gonna be MVP. Herb Cal bridge is gonna be MVP caliber anytime soon.
It’s interesting I I wonder if he could wind up being the best draft pick out of that entire Ryan McDonough time and ironically not even really his pick it sounds like as he wanted Shea Gilchrist Alexander instead of apparently apparently I got extremely excited there at early I’m on twelve again but change is really like that.
Mchale is going to take I’m young like the Suns there.
Yeah maybe it’d be itching. Because he has so much potential on both ends of the court and where we’re barely scratching the surface with this with this kid in it. I don’t know I I actually looked at stats for this episode. I don’t know who the hell I am but what it what did you pull up Greg. Please tell us. Well look the fact that the Suns have the second worst defensive rating in the league it doesn’t it doesn’t bode well when you’re talking about a defensive player like McHale Burgess but then you look and you look wow there’s second in steals which is which is pretty impressive and that has a lot to do with McHale and the way he plays and just to just his sense for the ball there. So it’s it’s a shift in mentality that I think we’re going to see with the Suns team depending on who the hell becomes GM. That’s not negative that’s just a fact. But it looks like a shift in mentality about what this team might want to be in the long run and I think McHale Bridges is the poster boy for that kind of player that they want to start bringing in and that mentality that they want. I mean Kelly you raise very much of the same mentality. They claim Tyler Johnson is but we haven’t seen that it’s seen much from him yet but it’s I can understand the kind of player they want to bring in that kind of mentality and that grittiness that you want to see. And I like that McHale’s bringing it to you.
So would you say I’m sorry go ahead Tim.
I’m just gonna say Josh Jackson actually is tied with McHale bridges to holding opponents of forty five point eight percent shooting from the field so tied for second on the team with with McHale bridges.
Josh has gotten some some good help. I think this year in seeing how he can play well it helped him a year ago. Talking to Jay Triano about how he can make a difference as a rookie and they had actually had a sit down where they figured out how he could get his points I can get his rebounds impacting the game in ways beyond just handling the ball and jacking up a shot and then this year Josh seems to be learning about that his activity levels can be a difference maker in the game and whether he’s always under control or not is is a matter of maturity basketball maturity. But certainly I think he he is seen with kill you Brey and with McHale bridges and guys like that that you can really you can get your difference making effort out there and and that does count. So it’s it’s been good for him that way. Josh obviously is getting better as the year progresses just like he did before he is on his what third coach or fourth third third third coach in just a year. So it’s one of those things where maybe the Suns ought to think about a little bit more stability. But then again why be stable with the league’s worst franchise. And so it’s it’s a tough tough call but we’re staying positive today so we’re not going to talk about that mean league’s worst franchise.
I wonder is he on his fourth player development coach though and that time I got to go back and look. But that that’s part of it too because these guys don’t always work as closely with the head coach. I mean they do but the player development coach coaches work closely with the young guys and that that has an impact to what the defensive side of things is an interesting. Is an interesting one from the pure fact that it’s where you really see that the sum of the parts here don’t equal what’s going on because there’s a lot of individual individual parts don’t don’t increase the sum. Yes that’s what I’m trying to say because when you look at it there’s a lot of defensive talent on this team. But when you put it together it has an equal team defensive success and that’s kind of been the story of this team we look at it and we think the there is more talent than we’ve seen in years past year but it’s not equaling a wins. It’s not it’s not working right.
So if you look closer at the Suns defense there’s the reason they’re second worst in the league is because they give up by far the most points at the rim. Most points within three feet of the rim and not necessarily the highest finishing percentage Look I think the Suns are mid pack on defensive field goal percentage allowed in the three foot you know the painted area but they give up the most attempts in that area which means other teams are just attacking the Suns because the Suns are playing a 6 8 6 7 200 pound guy at power forward most of the time. So while the Suns are getting these steals and leading the league since December 1st 2nd in the league I think since December 1st and in steals and deflections and things like that it’s they’re getting that bye by trying to be active on the perimeter but once once the ball gets inside the paint there is there’s no steals happening because players don’t get the ball stolen then because the ball’s already over their head and being being ready to be shot and finished the under 18 is not a very good rim protector but it doesn’t help that the Suns are playing six seven guys at power forward. I think it doesn’t help either that in most cases at least at the beginning of the year the point guard position as well wasn’t exactly a defensive stalwart so it’s not a cause some issues on switches that would put Ayton at a position down low and things like that to say well certainly yeah no he’s definitely all the switches and all the pick and roll defense and all that is taking Ayton away from the rim so it’s not always Ayton getting beat at the rim it’s that Aiden’s getting switched out away from the rim and somebody else is having to defend that and that guy is not only 6 7 6 8 but also only about 200 pounds so there’s really no way to contest so other teams are just going to bigs and killing the suns inside and when the Suns go crazy and try to over effort their way to to equalling on rebounds and when there’s a Miss you know and actually getting the rebound sometimes that’s been helpful but that first shot is just nonstop that attempt at the rim is just non-stop and so the Suns by far lead the league in points allowed at the in the painted area not that I trust your opinion but what kind of power forward do you think is ideal then in this situation going into this offseason oh the kind of power forward I think is ideal would be I mean if I’m going to think outside the box a guy like a Jaren Jackson Junior who was taken what fourth or fifth this year fourth I think overall that kind of guy who’s was really active can move can’t shoot I think actually Aaron Gordon would be very very good.
Now that I’ve seen how do you Andre even plays how he. How how much. What kind of space he takes up on the floor and all that.
I think Aaron Gordon a very active athletic power forward who doesn’t have to be elite leading rebounder type but but can defend the rim and rebound aggressively while being one of the most athletic guys in the league. Those are very few and far between there’s probably only three or four guys in the entire league who’d be a perfect fit. So the Suns tried to go a little small they realized they went a little bit too small but now you can’t overcompensate and just bring in a lumbering guy like Dennis Kanter or something and say put him at power forward and I don’t agree with people who say Rush on home should be a power forward just because he can provide some of the things you want the guy cannot defend in space he can’t defend in the pick and roll and the power forward has to be out there a lot more often than the center does. And Russian homes cannot shoot outside of five or 10 feet. And so when he neither he nor Ayton can shoot that far and you don’t want it to suddenly become a power forward again either. You really need a more active brain guy who can play power forward.
So ideally in Aaron Gordon or Jaren Jackson type I do wonder if the Andre Aiden’s more of a power forward than a center is not. No he’s not. He’s not. Why do you wonder that. Tell us why. Tell us. Tell us what makes you say that.
And just that he does have a little bit of range to him. He’s not a great rim defender and being positive he’s just that’s not a knock on him. He’s just not a great rim defender. He does have a little bit of range. I actually think that he probably could shoot the three if not this season because it doesn’t seem like the coaching staff is going to let him. I think that at some points in the reasonably near future he could he might just be a bit more naturally of power forward.
I mean he did played in college 0 4 4 and in the Rising Stars game from 3.
I’m I just have to disagree but Tim you’ve played well that was more and that was more of a question than a statement.
You know who I’d rather see at power forward than Sean Holmes drug and Bender shipping. I’m not doubling down on that. Please don’t please don’t at me. Just kidding.
It can’t. Can we. Can we talk about Greg that you would rather have Dragan Bender VIN or Sean Holmes.
Do you really want to go back. I just meant Sean Holmes is going to get overpaid and I’d rather take a flyer on a guy like a dragon and vendor who may have more inherent talent that hasn’t been tapped into at a much lower rate than I would want to overpay Roshan homes to the tune of ten million dollars.
That was the whole point. Stop messaging me about a D or R skipper and Gilligan
On the deserted island Bender island. Right. Right. Right.
Your childhood don’t even get Mary Ann and Ginger a rat’s new threats new child has joined us on the island too. He is a month old so he doesn’t know much about basketball but he’s a he’s all in on Bender.
Well he doesn’t know what a basketball win looks like.
He doesn’t. That’s true. This child has never seen such weird crazy.
So I do want to thank a listener for supporting the show and if you want to support the show you can do so as well if you’re watching on YouTube right now. If you are listening on the podcast version open up the show notes look in the notes below and you just hit that support the podcast button and you can do a one a five or ten dollar option if you do the ten dollar option I will personally send you some sun swag in this week. I do want to thank cable sage also cable Sage has an amazing name by the way.
You can do a hundred dollar donation. You just have to do the ten dollar one ten times so. Right. Just throwing that out there if anybody’s got deep pockets it’s listening your.
Greg is our math wizard.
No it is really nice so we do really appreciate it does go a long way. And thank you so much cable Sage.
You keep keeping the lights on around here which is a good kid upside down like it sounds like the bad guy in a you know in a superhero movie.
Is that because in Deadpool too the quasi villain was named cable could be.
Maybe that roommate in the reference.
So I have things I’m really really excited about it because we do not have a synergy subscription. I do have Devin Booker’s synergy numbers.
Would you guys like to tie round them since I don’t have the subscription. How do you have the numbers. Do you mind synergy. I love it. All right. A buddy of mine supplied me with him. Now do you guys wanna talk about that now or will you come back from the break. It’s up to you. Let’s talk about it now because after the break we’ll talk about how to fix All-Star weekend. Oh let me ask this.
Are they positive numbers. Because if not I’ll talk about them on the episode.
They are there they’re the only positive that’s what that’s why I’m bringing it up. I thought this would be a good episode to bring them up on.
So are we sure that these pirated synergy numbers are real then. Yes. OK. Let’s go. They’re all offensive. No.
Hey I want to do a shout out for the folks watching on YouTube. You’ve noticed this but the people who just listen have not. We have all decided to wear our uniform for the podcast today we’re all in our purple shirts Tim’s wearing a blue shirt.
Dave. I call it purple. I’m just calling the purple Mine.
Mine is the Count from Sesame Street. Mine is the timeline. Oh nice.
Which is now dead thanks to James Jones’s comments this week.
Well no because if you listen up that’s negative. James Jones has made a lot of comment so I’m not sure if the timeline is dead or not. So let’s get to these synergy numbers Tim please.
Devin Booker as the pick and roll ball handler and we’re gonna go through this as percentage of his time in offensive possession so 40 percent of the time he is he pick and roll ball handler four hundred and fifteen possessions for a total of 376 points giving him a point per possession of a point and 9 0 6 with which ranks 60 eighth in the league and a rating of very good sixty eight out of 68 percent sixty eighth percentile.
Yes. OK. And I’m supposed to be noting positive episode. Good stuff. It is.
Point nine poor shooting guard. That’s very very good.
Yeah. Okay. It is that great guard. Be quiet Greg. It’s great transition on the offensive end. He does this seventeen point five percent of the time. Possession is one hundred ninety two point two hundred and thirty eight point per possession one point to four fantastic with a rating a very good 76 percent that’s good.
So it’s six percentile is is good in transition. Absolutely. We need to build on that.
Hold on is the rankings are these. No. I have a legitimate synergy question here. It’s not a no. It’s not I’m not ripping on anything. Greg does the rating of very good actually come out of the SYNERGY System. Yeah. OK. This is the most one of the most advanced tracking metrics we’ve ever had in sports. Right. Well they’re going to switch to a mojito pretty soon MRA tracking.
Ok. I’m still pretty good with the language. The target date card really put it all in depth. Hey very good Oh I think I think what they do is they.
The part that makes it more sophisticated. They break it out by it by play style type and that’s the information you can’t get anywhere else. Right. OK.
They realize that there are people like you who need to be able to digest this information. So Tim spent actually about 12 seconds going through the actual stats of Devin Booker in those positions and then culminated it with synergies wrap up on that row of very good. And guess what. The only thing Greg heard was very mild and then he made fun of it for a while saying Shouldn’t they be more sophisticated than that. When Tim spent 12 seconds on one row in the synergy database on Devin Booker about the more sophisticated parts but you didn’t hear any of those.
My eyes glaze over. I stared spreadsheets at work all week. I don’t need to do it here Greg.
That’s why they give a very good for people like you.
I want a rating like it’s a Marco millage. Give me give me like player like a player comp kind of rating like give me give me something I can sink my. That
Would only be the jumped stats that would look very good for me. Maybe maybe there’s a comment section you can write them an email. I wasn’t sure that I love that.
Yeah I’m sure they would love great wanting more descriptive descriptions of the actual stats better than very good. So when you’re in the 90 plus percentile does it say like fucking awesome or something.
I don’t know.
He’s not in the diet percentile or no I know it’s excellent. I think it’s it’s it’s just it’s just a school grading scale. If you’re in the 70 to 80 it’s very good. If you’re in the 80 or 90 it’s good. And then I think 90 to 100 is excellent. It’s pretty elementary grade. Which means you should be able to keep up.
You just made my point. It’s elementary in a sophisticated age. Don’t go through the stats. Sure. All right. Cheese. Tim hates. I’m muting my mike.
Go ahead Tim stayed away in isolation which is 12 percent of the time one hundred and thirty one possessions four hundred eighteen points. Point 9 0 1 points per possession in the fifty seventh rank which puts him as good. Honestly a lot of isolation for Devin Booker comes at and they’ve shot clocks and quarters. The fact that he can get point nine points off of each shot as you know it’s really not bad.
It’s really not he. He’s put in a position he puts himself in a position often and then he gets put in that position as well of having to be the last guy standing with the ball and then chucking up something creating shots. There’s got to be an evolution on his part to where he doesn’t have to do that every time.
But right now he’s in that mode where either he’s forced to or he thinks he’s forced to and he gets himself into the breakdown as many guys as you can try to get up a shot off screen these next three actually surprise me a bit off screen 9 percent of the time 90 possessions and ninety one point point nine to nine points per possession in the forty sixth percentile ranking of average spot up shooting he does eight percent of time eighty eight possessions seventy nine points point eight nine eight points per possession putting him in the thirty second percentile with a rating of average and dribble handoff four point seven percent the time fifty two shots thirty nine points point seven point seven five points per possession putting him in the twenty seventh percentile with a below average ranking which is really surprising that when he plays off ball apparently he’s not all that good well part of it has been tally well nice to it right now.
So you see he’s not comfortable in that role.
Yes well I’m part of it is who has the ball when he’s playing off ball.
I mean they know I mean. Well it depends. Right. So a dribble handoff. I don’t know who has the ball I guess that could matter spot up shooting coming off screens like it would depend on definitely.
He came into the league as you know got. He was shooting about 60 percent on threes as a rookie in his first two months when he was coming off the bench and playing basically the same early it had in Kentucky and he was 18 years old. That’s when everyone’s like Who is this guy. And I remember Jeff Horn is like telling me that Devin Booker was going to be a multi time all star when he started seeing him play at 18 years old coming off the bench for the Suns who were still competitive at the time. And then when everything fell off the rails since then Devin Booker has been basically the only option. He’s completely forgotten how to be a complementary player. I would love to see that again. He’s got it. He he won six man of the year Kentucky. He was excellent as a rookie and obviously and even just just an example of the three point shooting contest. He’s probably going to do real well again although by the time you’re listening to this you’ll know how he did in the three point contest when we’re recording we don’t. But in the two times he’s been in the contest Devin Booker has finished in the top three. So we’ll see how it goes this year but he’s basically forgotten how to be a complementary player. And so I’m not surprised he ranks that low. I’m disappointed he ranks that low but I’m not surprised.
So. So if I’m being ignorant here please. Walk me through it. But I I would think the person who is is giving you the ball and a spot up shooting situation doesn’t pack it because it depends on when where he’s giving you the ball. Sometimes it’s shot selection is obviously on Devin. But like I would think that that would impact how good you are as a spot up shooter.
Yeah I mean if they pass through the ball to lower too high and you aren’t getting in your natural or if you didn’t get space from the defender like a lot of dribble handoffs do which is you know that is true to an extent that that that’s true but offspring of whether or not he is coming off one screen or to make a difference.
I mean offensive system a you know and are you running it. Right. Could impact. I’m trying to stay positive here.
Yeah yeah. No that’s I mean that’s that’s all I’m contributing here.
You’re absolutely right it does contribute some. But then if you’re one of the handful of best shooters in the game you should be a little bit better so we can look for. That’s one of those things where you look at it and you go huh. Well that’s not a career long thing. And you just go it will get better.
That’s right Dave. That’s right.
That’s a I like that take on it. Now on that note let’s go ahead and take a break and when we get back we will talk about the All-Star game how to fix it. If you’re on the YouTube version right now you can go ahead and subscribe to the podcast version wherever you listen to podcasts at.