The Phoenix Suns have now won a season-best four straight games and appear to be showing signs of righting the ship.
Shannon Brown has anchored the Suns' turnaround of late, providing a consistent force offensively. The former Charlotte Bobcat posted a season-high 26 points with five three-pointers against his former employer Wednesday night, with 18 of those points coming in third quarter. The Suns' guard has compiled a staggering 32 points in his last two third quarters combined.
Brown told Arizona Sports 620's Doug & Wolf Thursday he doesn't feel any pressure to be the team's spark plug despite having the hot hand of late.
"I am just trying to become a better basketball player, a better teammate, a better student of the game," Brown said. "I am just locked in and focused on trying to help this team accumulate wins and hopefully make it to the playoffs."
While the Suns have struggled offensively for the majority of the season, Brown has emerged as one of the team's more talented players who not only has the ability to create his own shot but can also set up opportunities for his teammates to shine.
"If they need to give me the ball and have me create something, it's not always about taking the shot," Brown said. "I just got to go out there, play basketball man, make it simple. I think sometimes we make the game a little bit too hard. But if I make it simple for myself, I am going to make it simple for others and we got a good chance of making some good things happen."
Brown is averaging 13.2 points per game with 2.6 rebounds in 26.7 minutes of play this season.
The Suns have shown they are able to come back from almost any deficit but have struggled to play a complete basketball game from start to finish. Brown said that's something the team is working hard to rectify.
"We're trying to become a team that executes all the time, for 48 minutes. If we figure out how to do that on both ends of the court, the sky's the limit for us," Brown stated.
The Suns will need to improve in all aspects of the game, especially defensively, if they want to make a run this year.
"We got to play hard, smart and play together as a team," Brown explained. "We got to execute our offense, move the ball, get wide open shots, not be afraid to make that extra pass. On defense we got to be together as one, helping each other if someone gets beat, talking to each other, reminding people of their assignments, just staying together as a team as a unit.
The 27-year-old has been encouraged by the strides the defense has made recently and feels players are starting to find a comfort level within head coach Alvin Gentry's defensive scheme.
"Guys are understanding our defensive strategy and what we are trying to accomplish," Brown said. "I think our rotations and everything have been getting consistently better every practice, every game and I think it's definitely been showing. Guys have been out getting in the passing lane, getting steals which leads to easy baskets for us too and that's definitely what we need especially when shots are not falling. I think we definitely are making a conscious effort to get better on the defensive end."