The NBA regular season is months away, Summer League is just starting, training camp and the preseason still haven’t happened.
Yet you can already see the signs of the Phoenix Suns being a more successful offensive basketball team.
According to basketball-reference.com, Phoenix had the second-worst offense in the NBA going by Offensive Rating. We’re not talking about improving a juggernaut.
To create quality shots, you need to have players who demand attention and have the ability to create for themselves and others. Scheme is important, but if you don’t have the talent, it doesn’t matter.
Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe give head coach Jeff Hornacek two players at his disposal who have the ability to put pressure on a defense. Those two both have an ability to put a defensive scheme in an uncomfortable position.
Last year the Suns lacked players that could accomplish this — but even when they did, there wasn’t enough shooting to take advantage. Phoenix shot 33 percent from three-point range, third-worst in the NBA, and only 36.8 percent from the corners (20th).
They also attempted the seventh-least.
This will most likely change during the 2013-14 season.
With the return of Channing Frye and the addition of Caron Butler, Phoenix should be a significantly better three-point shooting team.
In the last three years Frye played (09-10 to 11-12), he hit 39.6 percent of his threes overall and 47.5 percent from the corners.
Caron Butler has shot 38 percent from deep overall and 42.7 percent from the corners during the last three seasons.
Just adding Frye and Butler and taking away minutes from Luis Scola, Michael Beasley and the Morris twins will significantly improve the Suns’ perimeter shooting and court spacing.
I don’t think the Suns are at the point where they will join the top half of the league in offensive efficiency, but at least they are heading down the right path.