Jared Dudley's done right during Suns' win streak
And it's no coincidence that their latest starting five -- one that has five-year veteran Jared Dudley back in his natural small forward position -- has generated instant returns.
Over his last four games, the former Boston College star has averaged 18.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.0 steals per contest. The Suns in that same stretch are 3-1.
"I definitely think we're playing the right way," Dudley told Arizona Sports 620's Doug & Wolf Tuesday. "I try to tell people that yeah I was struggling earlier in the year, but as a team we we're struggling."
Dudley began the year as Phoenix's starting shooting guard, but poor ball movement limited his opportunities and the Suns certainly suffered because of it. During the team's 4-7 start, Dudley averaged 8.5 points per game on 42.5 percent shooting.
"You can tell the good teams that are playing well, because usually their role players are playing well," said Dudley. "That's usually because the ball is moving.
"Early in the season, and even up until the last couple of games, we were playing selfish basketball. We didn't have a lot of assists, but we had a lot of turnovers because we were going to the isolation one-on-one."
While the Suns have not shot above 48 percent during their current three-game win streak, the ball movement has been apparent as the team has averaged 24.3 assists in their victories over the Memphis Grizzlies, Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings.
"We've shown these last three or four games, even though it's a small sample, if you play unselfish, if you play hard and you give it up to the next guy...you can be successful," said Dudley.
Although the longest-tenured active Sun suggested that a lineup tweak and the team's collective growth might be major contributors to the season-high win streak, but it's clear that Dudley -- who has led Phoenix in minutes in each of the last three games -- has been the biggest key to success.
"I just feel like I need to be on the court as much as possible," said Dudley. "I'm that guy who doesn't care about numbers. I might be scoring well now just because I am open, but if I'm not, I am willing to make the extra pass."
- Jared Dudley, Suns forward - Tuesday June 18Jared Dudley joins Doug and Wolf to talk NBA Finals.
- Jared Dudley, Suns' Forward - Tuesday June 11JD gives us his player's perspective on the NBA Finals.
- Brian Windhorst, NBA ESPN.com Writer - Friday June 7Brian Windhorst talks about Game 1 of the NBA Finals and what to expect from the rest of the series.
- Suns GM Ryan McDonough - Friday June 7The Suns GM talks about prospects Ben McLemore of Kansas and Victor Oladipo of Indiana.
- Eddie Johnson, Suns' TV Analyst - Thursday June 6EJ previews game 1 of the NBA Finals. Plus, what are his thoughts on George Karl's firing?