The Phoenix Suns have trotted out five different starting lineups during the first 25 games of the 2012-13 season.
And it’s no coincidence that their latest starting five — one that has five-year veteran Jared Dudley back in his natural small forward position — has generated instant returns.
Over his last four games, the former Boston College star has averaged 18.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.0 steals per contest. The Suns in that same stretch are 3-1.
“I definitely think we’re playing the right way,” Dudley told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug & Wolf Tuesday. “I try to tell people that yeah I was struggling earlier in the year, but as a team we we’re struggling.”
Dudley began the year as Phoenix’s starting shooting guard, but poor ball movement limited his opportunities and the Suns certainly suffered because of it. During the team’s 4-7 start, Dudley averaged 8.5 points per game on 42.5 percent shooting.
“You can tell the good teams that are playing well, because usually their role players are playing well,” said Dudley. “That’s usually because the ball is moving.
“Early in the season, and even up until the last couple of games, we were playing selfish basketball. We didn’t have a lot of assists, but we had a lot of turnovers because we were going to the isolation one-on-one.”
While the Suns have not shot above 48 percent during their current three-game win streak, the ball movement has been apparent as the team has averaged 24.3 assists in their victories over the Memphis Grizzlies, Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings.
“We’ve shown these last three or four games, even though it’s a small sample, if you play unselfish, if you play hard and you give it up to the next guy…you can be successful,” said Dudley.