Phoenix Suns continue to struggle with inconsistent play, ‘Chris Paul effect’ may propel team


Humberto Arredondo

Suns coach Monty Williams at a previous press conference

Daniel Moreno, Reporter

“The Chris Paul effect” is rapidly becoming an actual basketball term.

Paul’s ability to turn a team around — filling holes in the roster and inflating the stats of his teammates, is becoming well documented.

However, it is yet to be seen whether this effect will be enough to propel the oft-times mediocre Suns into the realm of the NBA elite.

After a stunning undefeated record in the bubble, the Phoenix Suns saw a lot of upside after last year’s abbreviated season.  But many fans and analysts wondered if the momentum the team saw after the league’s return to play would actually translate to a full 82-game docket.

So far, Paul has been bringing the same tempo he showed when finishing 5th with OKC Thunder last season, but it seems like Devin Booker has struggled without the ball in his hands.

Consistently inconsistent play seems to be the ongoing issue for Phoenix. Going from undefeated, to losing four straight games — the Suns continue to look like title contenders or a lottery team depending on the night.

In an unusually short post-game interview, Suns Coach Monty Williams discussed the core of the team’s issues.

“At some point you just have to finish out games and understand what it takes to be a really good team is consistency, period.”

Williams’ frustration followed another close loss, this time to Chris Paul’s former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. After having a monstrous 32 point first quarter, the Suns only scored 10 points in the second quarter. The Suns were able to remain consistent the second half, putting up over 20 points in back to back quarters to close out the game. However, when only losing by five points, it seems like the lackluster second quarter wound up hurting them down the stretch.

Williams also commented on the future of the team.

“Until this team understands consistency for four quarters, we’re going to feel like this a lot. We can try and get everybody to feel sorry for us, it ain’t going to work. We got to be consistent, this one’s on us, period,” Williams said in the same post-game interview.

Unfortunately for Williams, offensive efficiency may continue to be a hot topic during postgame interviews with Devin Booker still out with a hamstring injury.