With the Phoenix Suns, we're all looking for THE reason
As if you can narrow down exactly why the Suns bear no resemblance to the Sherman Tank the entire NBA expected this season.
Is it Jeff Hornacek? Of course. Just the other day, Magic Johnson himself tweeted out that he should be the coach of the year.
Ryan McDonough? Yep. Finally a general manager with the knowledge of what is necessary and the actual willingness to do it.
Gerald Green? Miles Plumlee? Markieff Morris? The Eric Bledsoe trade? Improved defense? Checkmarks across the board.
Even much-maligned owner Robert Sarver -- featured in this early nominee for most unlikely headline of the year -- has caught a ride on the road to redemption.
I'm not sure Goran Dragic is getting enough credit. I don't think people are talking enough about the season he's having.
In a thoughtful piece about the criteria behind the award for Most Improved Player, SI.com prominently mentioned Dragic:
Dragic is playing all of 1.3 minutes more than he did for Phoenix last season, and if anything has seen his workload lessened by playing alongside Eric Bledsoe. Yet his scoring is up (from 15.8 points per 36 minutes to 20.1), his shooting efficiency has risen (54.3 effective field goal percentage, up from 49.1), and his turnovers have dipped (16.8 turnover rate to 14.4). All of those marks are career bests for a 27-year-old guard filling the same role for the same team, though it's worth noting that the arrival of Bledsoe and hiring of Hornacek have had a bit to do with Dragic's terrific season. Still, his improvement is his own — he's more confident and competent than ever, and as sound a choice as you'll find by this MIP definition.
At his very best, Dragic was a solid player. Not great, not on the cusp of great, just solid. Solid but not spectacular.
His unexpected jump to that next level -- to the cusp of greatness -- is arguably the most significant development for these Suns. A listener tweeted me Tuesday suggesting that his status as a late-bloomer is similar to that of Steve Nash. Interesting thought.
The hope here is that Dragic is rewarded for his performance with a spot in the All-Star game.
Dave Burns, Co-host of Burns & Gambo
- Suns' Dragic leads Slovenia to Group D win over Mexico at FIBA World Cup
- Suns guard Goran Dragic leads Slovenians to win in World Cup opener
- Phoenix Suns launch a social media campaign to find new fan models
- Former Phoenix Suns guard Leandro Barbosa signs with the Golden State Warriors
- Suns guard Goran Dragic limited as Slovenia routed by United States in World Cup exhibition
- Lionel Hollins, head coach Brooklyn Nets - Wednesday August 27The head coach of the Brooklyn Nets joins Doug & Wolf for the ASU Sun Devil Fork Report.
- Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager - Tuesday August 26D-backs manager Kirk Gibson discusses possible changes to a six-man rotation.
- Paul Coro - azcentral sports Suns writer - Tuesday August 26Paul Coro discusses Eric Bledsoe still being a restricted free agent.
- Chris Sheridan- sheridanhoops.com - Tuesday August 19Chris Sheridan believes there is one team that could easily make a max contract offer to Eric Bledso
- Who impressed/who depressed - Monday August 18Dan and Vince look back at who impressed and depressed them over the weekend.