Suns played 1st contest without Mikal Bridges in 400 games
While Phoenix Suns fans can rejoice Kevin Durant is coming to the Valley, the departure of Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson leaves many with heavy hearts.
The void on the court for the first time was felt Thursday in Phoenix’s 116-107 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Without Bridges on the court specifically, it was a significant game.
Bridges holds the longest current streak in the NBA with 400 consecutive games played for the Suns (including playoffs) and has not missed a contest dating all the way back to his junior year in high school.
The No. 10 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft was a constant for Phoenix and a fan favorite for many because of his availability.
Despite not having the ball in his hands for a majority of possessions, the two-way player made himself a household name after being named to All-Defensive First Team in 2022.
As he departs for Brooklyn, let’s a look at Bridges’ career in Phoenix by the numbers:
Bridges’ Iron Man streak can not go understated in a league that deals with load management and injuries daily (that streak will not be penalized as he and Johnson traveled to Brooklyn and then sat out the Nets’ game Thursday against the Chicago Bulls)
His dependency in the lineup gave the Suns an answer to who would guard the opposing team’s best player nightly and gave fans a dependable face during his 2018-19 rookie season that saw 19 wins.
For context, fellow Villanova product Saddiq Bey was in second place behind Bridges in terms of active players in mid-November. That ended for Bey at 152 games, which on Nov. 19 was 172 behind Bridges.
Golden State Warriors center Kevon Looney now sits in second place at 166.
Bridges finished his stint with the Suns having knocked home 525 3s, good enough for ninth all-time in the Suns’ history books. Johnson was right behind him with 434.
The wing made his dough offensively from the mid-range jumper and getting to the rim. As one of the best slashers on the team, Bridges was often at the free-throw line.
His 84.8% mark from the stripe ranks eighth all-time in franchise history.
Bridges was efficient when finding his shot up close. He rarely took shots that fans would label a “bad look.”
Because of his basketball IQ and ability to move without the basketball, Bridges 58.6% shooting from inside the three-point line ranks fourth only behind centers Deandre Ayton, Shaquille O’Neal and Mark West.
As one of the most efficient shooters on the team, Bridges boasts the seventh-highest true shooting percentage in franchise history at 61%.
True shooting accounts for the efficiency of points scored by accounting for free throws and three-point attempts as well.
Bridges was the leader for the 2022-23 Suns with a 5.1 total win share, calculated from offense, defense and playing time.
Despite having Paul and Devin Booker run the offense, Bridges excelled with the ball in his hands.
Bridges’ 8.7 turnover percentage was the eighth-highest in franchise history. James Jones leads the Suns all-time with 5.4%