Stats: Suns Make A Run With Offense

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — At the All-Star break, the Phoenix Suns sat in 13th place in the Western Conference, four games out of the playoffs and six games behind the Houston Rockets.

Today, the Suns are in eighth place, tied with the Utah Jazz for the final playoff spot in the West and a game ahead of the Rockets. With most of our thoughts regarding the Suns involving Steve Nash‘s long-term future, the 38 year old has led his team to a 19-10 record since the All-Star break, a playoff run few expected.

The Suns, as they always have with Nash at the helm, have been winning with offense. No team has improved more offensively this season than the Suns, who are scoring 7.8 more points per 100 possessions since the break than they were before it.

Suns efficiency

Timeframe W L Pace Rank OffRtg Rank DefRtg Rank NetRtg Rank
Before break 14 20 94.5 13 100.2 16 102.7 23 -2.5 21
After break 19 10 95.1 6 108.0 3 104.2 16 +3.8 8

OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

A deeper look at the Suns’ numbers reveals that their offense has improved across the board. They’re shooting better from both inside the arc and beyond it. They’re rebounding better, turning the ball over less, and getting to the line more.

Suns offense

Timeframe 2PT% Rank 3PT% Rank OREB% Rank TO% Rank FTA Rate Rank
Before break 48.2% 6 34.0% 15 24.0% 26 15.5 11 .237 28
After break 50.9% 3 34.7% 19 28.0% 12 13.9 4 .289 10

OREB% = Percentage of available offensive rebounds obtained
TO% = Turnovers per 100 possessions

While Nash is clearly the Suns’ most important player, one of the biggest keys to the team’s improvement has been its play with Nash on the bench. Before the break, the Suns were pretty awful with Sebastian Telfair running show. Since the break, Telfair hasn’t been too bad.

Suns with Telfair on the floor

Timeframe GP MIN Pace OffRtg DefRtg NetRtg +/-
Before break 28 358 91.5 91.2 106.1 -14.9 -110
After break 29 483 92.9 104.7 105.8 -1.0 -31

Still, Nash has played 400 more minutes than Telfair since the All-Star break. And 806 of those 883 minutes have come with Marcin Gortat on the floor as well.

Of the 160 two-man combinations that have played at least 500 minutes together since the break, only three have had a higher on-court efficiency than Nash and Gortat. The Suns have scored an incredibly efficient 111 points per 100 possessions with the pair on the floor since the break.

Nash to Gortat

For the season, no player has been assisted by a single teammate more than Gortat has been assisted by Nash.

Most assists from a single teammate

Player Assisted by AST Total FGM %Tot
Marcin Gortat Steve Nash 210 414 50.7%
Blake Griffin Chris Paul 178 526 33.8%
Kevin Durant Russell Westbrook 161 613 26.3%
Kevin Garnett Rajon Rondo 139 390 35.6%
Paul Pierce Rajon Rondo 132 385 34.3%

The Suns lead the league in field goal percentage from within five feet of the basket (63.1 percent) and in the paint overall (56.5 percent). Gortat carries them there, shooting 69.8 percent (256-for-367) from within five feet of the basket, with more than twice as many buckets from there than any of his teammates.

Dudley in the corner

Jared Dudley ranks second on the Suns with 110 buckets within five feet of the basket. And Dudley is also the key to the team’s improvement from 3-point range. And he’s done it from the corners.

Before the All-Star break, Dudley shot 12-for-41 (29 percent) on corner 3-pointers. Since the break, he’s 17-for-32 (53 percent) from the corners.

All 17 of those corner threes have been assisted, but only six by Nash. Five other guys have assisted Dudley on those corner threes, which often come as a result of multiple passes along the perimeter.

Best shooter in the league?

At 38 years old, Nash is still playing at an elite level. Not only does he lead the league in assists per minute, but he’s also one of the best shooters in the league, if not the best.

No matter where you put him, Nash can out-shoot most of the NBA. He ranks sixth in free throw percentage (89.0 percent), 22nd in 3-point percentage (40.7 percent), second in mid-range shooting percentage (52.4 percent), and seventh in shooting percentage in the paint (64.3 percent).

His percentages from the paint and from mid-range are the highest of Nash’s career.



  1. rafal, szczecin says:

    Go Marcin!!!! More aggressively to the basket and better vertical jump – key to the all-star.

  2. Polak says:

    Go MARCIN GORTAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Luis says:

    Go Suns!! Steve is our master, let’s make the playoffs and let’s win the championship!!

  4. Shrey says:

    just see AMARE..with steve nash and without him.

  5. Wizards23 says:

    For the last decade I’ve the always thought that the 3 best players you can build a franchise around are Lebron James, Kevin Durant and Steve Nash. This article provides evidene 4 @ least one of those candidates.

  6. Danger23 says:

    Plain and simple. One of the best of all of a time. Has made so many of his team mates look better and earned them pay days! He isn’t a two time MVP for nothing. Like fine wine is Steve Nash. I’m not sure anyone else in the league could come even close to bringing the team he has right now into the playoffs picture in the rugged West. No one in the league right now deserves a ring more than the point guard by way of Santa Clara.

  7. Joe says:

    I see the suns going a lot further if Shannon Brown can step it up. He has speed, he can shoot, and he can jump out the gym, but somehow doesn’t put it all together to become an elite player.

  8. Andrew Lipman says:

    GO PHX, YOU RULE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    #1 FAN.

  9. Dale Epperson says:

    Dream on.

    from a satisfied and happy Suns fan.

  10. Nick says:

    I hate the Suns. But I have nothing but respect for Steve Nash. He’s the closest thing the NBA will ever see to another John Stockton. Top 4 point guards of all time. And don’t give me those point guards of the 60s. They couldn’t play with today’s competition.

    1. John Stockton
    2. Magic Johnson (# of rings does not mean best ever–look at the stats. Stockton destroys Magic)
    3. Jason Kidd
    4. Steve Nash

    There’s these things called statistics. Numbers don’t lie. The rest are all intangibles. When you’re considering top all-time players, intangibles just don’t count. You need to look at the facts, the numbers, the records, the ranks. Doesn’t matter who was most culturally/historically visible (Magic, Robertson, whoever), It doesn’t matter how many championships or how long you played.

    In fact, if Nash and Kidd keep playing, Magic Johnson could very well be bumped out of the top 3.

    Not they weren’t some of the greatest players to ever play the game, but Oscar Robertson, Bob Cousy, and Walt Frazier do not belong in the top 5 point guard discussion.

    Look at the stats. Stockton, Magic, Kidd and Nash all have top 5 records in the NBA. Robertson, Cousy, and Frazier do not. Top 10-15? Yes. Top 4? No.

  11. NASHTY says:


    starting line-up
    nash, hill, anthony, stat, chan-chan

    second unit
    baron, shumpert, novak/fields, jeffries, (good serviceable big man via trading jr smith, bibby, and lin)

    • kenny says:

      Keep dreaming! Can’t you see new york thinks it can win by just adding more and more players. No chance for chemistry that way

    • Frank says:

      If Nash or Hill do decide toi go to NYC then that will be the dumbest decision they will ever make in their careers. NYC will never see a championship with the guys they have in their lineup. In fact I can’t even see them getting out of the first round of the playoffs.

  12. John says:

    Go Suns!