Eddie Johnson: Time for Frye to take lead

Mar 15, 2012, 11:24 PM | Updated: Mar 16, 2012, 1:19 am

The likelihood of a playoff run for the Phoenix Suns is still unpredictable.

They have a tough road ahead facing the Clippers Thursday, the Pistons on Friday and the Heat on next Tuesday, which all are in the top four of their conference.

But they still have 24 games left in the regular season, and the ticket that can get them to the playoffs may be in the form of center Channing Frye.

Suns commentator Eddie Johnson told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf it’s time for Frye to make a mark on the team.

“I told him after the All-Star break, I told him to his face, I said ‘Look, in order for this team to make the playoffs, you’re going to be the catalyst because you offer a plethora of different things to add to this team that they don’t have from anybody else,'” Johnson said. “And, low and behold, he stepped up and he seems to be doing the job.”

Frye has been with the Suns for three years and is at an career low shooting .403 percent in the field and averaging 10.3 points a game.

However, last night, Frye shined against the Utah Jazz leading the team in points, rebounds, and blocks for the night and hit a game-high 26 points to help the Suns win 120-111.

“It’s time for Channing Frye to jump out,” Johnson said. “I think every player, if you’re going to make your mark in the league, or in sports in general, you have a growth period. You have a period in your career where you just tend to kind of take off, and hopefully this is Channing Frye’s turn.”

Johnson said that they could have mistaken his growth period to be a few years ago when “he was shooting his 3’s so well,” but he’s going to be hitting his full potential because of his aggressiveness and ability to dig out of holes during games.

“The key for a good player is not to get yourself out of a slump two or three games later, it’s to get yourself out of the slump within the game,” Johnson said. “So if you’re 2-6 early on, how are you going to get yourself out of the slump in the game, not two games later? I think Channing is starting to understand that.”

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