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Power forward is quickly joining point guard as 1B to its 1A for the Suns priority offseason needs

Power forward is quickly joining point guard as 1B to its 1A for the Suns priority offseason needs
Published On: Mon, Feb 04
May 4, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; A Houston Rockets Power Dancer performs during a Los Angeles Clippers timeout in game one of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Los Angeles Clippers won 117 to 101. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

When one opposing player equals the same offensive rebounding total as the whole roster, questions need to start getting asked. Thata€™s exactly what happened on Saturday night whenA Atlanta HawksA power forwardA John CollinsA had his way against theA SunsA to the tune of 35 points and 16 rebounds, 10 of those boards came on the glass following his own teama€™s misses.

For the Suns, that should be an embarrassing note to parse over in the box score. But this wasna€™t just a one-night only instance. Ita€™s been plaguing them since the beginning of the season.

Phoenix ranks 30th in rebounds per game with 39.9. For comparison, only theA Milwaukee BucksandA Dallas MavericksA have had fewer than 40 rebounds per game over the past five seasons. That shouldna€™t be happening for the Suns after they selected Deandre Ayton No. 1 overall in the 2018 draft, and one of the big mana€™s skills was snatching basketballs at high rates off the glass. Their current pace is worse than last season whenA Alex Len,A Dragan Bender, andA Marquese ChrissA were the ones doing the heavy lifting in this category.

a€œIta€™s simple to answer your question,a€ Kokoskov said to me during the postgame press conference when I pointed out Collins matched the Sunsa€™ total offensive rebounds. a€œWe say we rebound the ball, we win the game. We didna€™t rebound the ball. We lost the game. That was a huge part: rebounding the ball. We couldna€™t complete possessions even when we play hard. Not enough discipline, not enough discipline to contain the ball and execute our plan, and to rebound the ball.a€

Over the Sunsa€™ current 10-game losing streak, defense has been a major thorn in their side but so has rebounding the basketball. After Phoenixa€™s surprising victory over theA Denver NuggetsA last month withoutA Devin Booker, they have since gone on to allow opponents to average more boards off the offensive glass which places them last in the NBA.

Another area where these woes can easily be traced back to is a lack of size with Ayton in their front court. Once they quickly found outA Ryan AndersonA wasna€™t even a rotation-level player anymore after tradingA ChrissA for him, Suns head coachA Igor KokoskovA has interchangedA T.J. Warren,A Josh Jackson,A Kelly Oubre Jr., and evenA Mikal BridgesA at the power forward position. Since theA Trevor ArizaA swap forA Oubre Jr., Phoenix is only averaging 39.7 rebounds per game.

For the first time all season, we saw play Kokoskov backup centerA Richaun HolmesA and Ayton together against Atlanta for a few minutes. Thata€™s how bad ita€™s gotten with the rebounding discrepancy between Phoenix and other squads around the Association.

When you are using small forwards out of position, teams will exploit to the tune of being the worst rebounding roster with no real debate. Well, with no answer in sight this season as the point guard position is obviously of higher priority right now, this will continue to play a major role.

One way or another, the Suns have two big holes to fill between now and the start of next season either via the draft, free agency, or trades: point guard and power forward.

Read the complete news article here...


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