Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley appeared on ESPN’s Jim Rome is Burning on Monday and even he agrees that the Suns weren’t at the peak of their game last season, despite playing nearly .500 ball.
“We kind of took a step back last year,” Dudley said. “You know, with the trades and not having good chemistry.”
Yes, Suns fans. Even the players felt the impact from a front office trading like they needed to process a majority of the NBA through their roster in a single week. Hopefully they ordered all those jerseys in bulk.
Dudley added that the Suns need to get better defensively next year, an obvious fact given the Suns ranked 29th overall in points allowed last season and 23rd in rebounds, a stat that Suns fans and critics alike attributed to young center Robin Lopez.
“”I think he needs to have a big off-season training,” Dudley said of Lopez. ” He needs to come back stronger and more aggressive. This is a league that no one feels sorry for you.”
Lopez managed only 3.2 rebounds per game last season and appeared small and inexperienced under the basket. At least both problems have solutions, one of which Lopez can fix over the summer rather than spending his time learning over the next few seasons.
“I hope he’s in the gym working and he’ll have every opportunity to succeed in Phoenix,” Dudley said.