PHOENIX SUNS

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.

Phoenix Suns

Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns and Cam Whitmore #7 of the Houston Rockets are separated after ...

Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns grind with Rockets again for home win

For whatever reason, the Houston Rockets have a way of making things ugly for the Phoenix Suns.

5 hours ago

Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns reacts to a call against the Houston Rockets during the second ...

David Veenstra

Scuffle breaks out between Suns’ Devin Booker and Rockets’ Cam Whitmore

Things got chippy between Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker and Houston Rockets forward Cam Whitmore on Thursday at Footprint Center.

6 hours ago

Bradley Beal attempts a layup...

Arizona Sports

Phoenix Suns’ Bradley Beal out, Jusuf Nurkic available vs. Rockets

Suns guard Bradley Beal is out for the team's Thursday night matchup against the Houston Rockets. Jusuf Nurkic is available.

15 hours ago

Kevin Durant and Frank Vogel, Phoenix Suns...

Damon Allred

Phoenix Suns battling 3-point math as Kevin Durant fights through cold spell

The math around the 3-pointer has been a point of emphasis for the Phoenix Suns all season, especially entering the final stretch.

1 day ago

Devin Booker and Devin Booker chat...

Arizona Sports

Report: Suns’ Devin Booker, Kevin Durant expected parts of Team USA core

Devin Booker and Kevin Durant are being considered as parts of the expected core of Team USA for the 2024 Olympics in Paris this summer.

1 day ago

Grayson Allen #8 of the Phoenix Suns in action during the first half against the Chicago Bulls at F...

Kellan Olson

Suns’ role players flashing capabilities team will need in postseason

The Phoenix Suns' supporting cast showed on Sunday how it could swing crucial games when the stars aren't playing at a high level.

2 days ago

Bradley Beal expects Suns continuity and defense to take time