Suns’ Bismack Biyombo embraces being solid bench option for playoffs

Apr 6, 2023, 4:42 PM

Phoenix Suns' Bismack Biyombo (18) blocks a shot by Indiana Pacers' Buddy Field (24) during the fir...

Phoenix Suns' Bismack Biyombo (18) blocks a shot by Indiana Pacers' Buddy Field (24) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Phoenix, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

Going 7-0 with Kevin Durant playing, clinching a playoff spot and riding a six-game winning streak are the trending headlines for the Suns right now, but one that is flying under the radar is the defense of Bismack Biyombo.

In his last nine games, the 6-foot-8 big man has 24 blocks and is averaging 2.7 blocks in 20 minutes per game. A four-block effort against the Spurs on Tuesday moved Biyombo into the top 100 all-time for blocked shots (1,037).

“I think it’s just building trust with my teammates, this has been throughout the year,” Biyombo told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Wednesday. “Where you just gotta allow them to just rely on you to protect them and then visa versa. At the end of the day it’s just following the game plan that the coaches give us and trying to execute that to the best of our ability. I try my best, man.”

Over this nine-game stretch, Biyombo has received more consistent minutes than he has all season, getting four starts and playing in at least 15 minutes each game.

After go-to starter Deandre Ayton, the backup big man minutes have been split between Biyombo and Jock Landale. With the playoffs around the corner, production off the bench remains a talking point around the Suns organization.

“The more options we have the better and clearly you have to have a really solid bench to win games in the playoffs,” Biyombo said. “Some days, some nights the bench is going to save you so we all kind of understand what we are trying to accomplish and we have a team that is not selfish. We are a selfless team. We trust each other.”

The Suns have battled with injury issues all year, and for the most part are fully healthy with three games left in the regular season before their playoff push starts.

“We have the right guys in the locker room to get this done and I really look forward to the opportunity that we have given ourselves and the organization has given us,” Biyombo said.

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