Following the departure of power forward Channing Frye, there was some concern over the offseason with the Phoenix Suns’ ability to spread the floor and get open looks.
Frye’s 6-foot-11 frame combined with his precise perimeter shooting gives any team an advantage with spacing — creating open looks all around the court.
While it’s hard to read too much into the Suns’ 119-99 win over the lowly Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, one Phoenix newcomer vows that spacing will be a strength, not a weakness, in 2014-15.
A guest of the Burns and Gambo show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Thursday, point guard Isaiah Thomas happily spoke about his new team’s offensive system.
“The floor space — we got so many guys that can put the ball in the basket that the defense has to pick and choose what they want to take away,” he said. “And you just have to be ready at all times to knock down your shots.”
On Wednesday, the Lakers were evidently attempting to take away the space inside the three-point arch, giving the Suns open perimeter looks. And coach Jeff Hornacek’s team didn’t squander the opportunities, knocking down 16 threes on the night — more than they made in any game last season. Thomas had five of those, compiling 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting.
Fellow guard Eric Bledsoe also spoke Thursday of the open shots the Suns had against the Lakers.
“We have so many guys who can put the ball in the basket,” Thomas went on. “And our spacing is so good. That’s one of our strengths, as I stated before, and it gives rooms for our guards to attack. And we’re either we attack to score or attack to find guys at the three-point line and if we knock them down any given night, we’re going to be very tough to beat. You’ve got to pick your poison; you’ve got to pick what you want to take away.
“And we’ve got a lot of weapons.”