Bradley Beal expects Suns continuity and defense to take time

Jan 2, 2024, 4:40 PM

Greatness takes time and for Bradley Beal and his integration into the Phoenix Suns rotation, things appear to be trending toward great.

The Suns are 3-0 since Beal’s return from injury and the offensive output from 11th year pro is ramping up after pouring in more than 20 points in each of his last two games.

“Offensively, I think we will click a lot faster,” Beal told Burns & Gambo on Tuesday. “Our defense has been our Achilles heel. We have to be better on that end of the floor.”

To his credit and the team’s, the Suns have improved in each game since Beal’s return.

They allowed 119 points on Friday against the Hornets, 107 in a win Sunday over the Magic and just 88 against the Trail Blazers on Monday.

Those teams, however, all rank among the bottom eight in the NBA in points per game.

“The biggest thing we miss out on is building our chemistry and comradery and we can’t do that if were not all available,” Beal said.

On returning from injury

Now that he has returned, the Suns can get a glimpse of what they look like at full strength.

“For me it was good to just be back on the floor,” Beal said.

Beal was removed after five minutes in a loss to the Knicks on Dec. 15 after landing awkwardly on a shot attempt.

His absence was felt hard by the Suns, who went 2-3 in the five games he missed and the team’s record dipped under .500 after a loss to the Mavericks on Christmas Day.

Perseverance prevailed for Beal.

“I just keep telling myself there’s a reason I’m here,” he said.

“To tweak my ankle like that, I didn’t think it would be as bad but I tweaked it really, really, really, really bad and so I’m just happy and fortunate I was able to come back a little bit faster than expected.”

Good timing

As mentioned, the Suns didn’t exactly face world beaters in the three games since he has returned, but the schedule gets tougher beginning Wednesday with an evening matchup against the Clippers, who sit first in the division.

Also looming is a seven-game road trip to end January, the longest on the schedule.

Ideally, the Suns will be able to gel and gain some on-court familiarity ahead of that gauntlet.

“I’ve always told myself in the past it wouldn’t take long but I mean were humans too at the same time and its also hard to win in this league,” Beal said.

“It’s still going to take games. What number? I can’t really put a number on it.”

The challenge is on the table for Beal and the Suns as they try to climb the ladder in the Western Conference but its safe to say he is looking forward to it.

“I’m obviously blessed. This is the best team I’ve ever been on,” he said.

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Bradley Beal expects Suns continuity and defense to take time