NBA

Best individual performances for Suns 2021-22: Remember when these guys were good?

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I’m not going to talk about our Phoenix Suns’ rocky outing, ending a very promising season and shattering title hopes.

We’ve talked about it more than enough. I’ve had it up to here. So I’m going to do something a little different.

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With all the negativity everywhere, I choose to shine a light in the dark and focus on the good of this team and their roster.

It’s a happy place, at least for the duration of this play.

Believe it or not, it’s not the apocalypse and there’s plenty to be happy about and plenty to look forward to.

I went through the 2021-22 season and the playoffs for each player and picked what I thought was their best game.


The “I Almost Forgot They Were There” Band

Emanuel Terry
January 2 @ CHA
5 rebounds in 6 minutes

MJ Walker
January 2 @ CHA
2 interceptions in 8 minutes

Chandler Hutchison
Oct. 23 @ POR
1-1 FG, 2 points and 2 rebounds in 6 minutes

justin jackson
January 6 against BAC
3-4 FG, 2 treys, 8 points and 2 rebounds in 6 minutes, +18

Parisian bass
January 2 @ CHA
2-4 FG for 4 points, 2 rebounds and 1 steal in 5 minutes

Remember the crazy COVID times of the “difficulty signings” that hit the Suns before Christmas? Yeah, I almost forgot too.

Neither of those guys really had a chance in decent minutes because they couldn’t break the rotation, so those picks were pretty easy. I simply opted for the best game of each player.

Terry being able to grab 30 rebounds every 36 minutes and Walker slipping 10 steals every 40 minutes are pretty incredible feats if you look at it that way.


The failure

Abdel Nader
November 12 @ MEM
4-5 FG with 2 treys for 10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block in 18 minutes

Frank Kaminsky
November 10 vs. POR
12-18 FG with 2 treys for 31 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block in 32 minutes and a +16 in a 10-point win

Jalen Smith
January 2 @ CHA
8-15 FG for 19 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks in just 24 minutes and a +19

We know Coach Monty loved putting handsome Nader on the pitch and he had his moments. However, like Frank the Tank, the injury bug has been a bit harsh. Both could have helped against the Mavs.

The “Drafting of Jalen” was like a horror movie to some fans and many of those upset fans are the same ones he misses now. Hey, it happens with young talent. I wasn’t ready to give it up and I don’t think the Suns should have been the team to give up a pick in this trade, but what’s done is done. I understand the acquisition of Torrey Craig and was happy to get him back, even if it didn’t work out. Good luck Jalen! Come back!


The guards “at the end of the bench”

Gabriel Lundberg
April 10 vs. SAC
2 treys, 10 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 0 turnovers in 27 minutes

Elfrid Payton
February 12 against ORL
2 treys, 10 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds and 1 steal with only 1 turnover in 22 minutes

Aaron’s Vacation
April 6 @ BAC
2 treys, 16 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds and 1 steal with just 1 turnover in 18 minutes, +30

The Suns signed the NBA’s first Dane this season but Lundberg didn’t really play. He did well the only time he got decent minutes, showing a bit of a full game.

Elf had a good game here and there, showing his ability to fill the stat sheet, but he wasn’t in the rotation when the games counted.

Holiday’s other brother played very well when he arrived on the pitch and like many, I think he should have had a lot more playing time than him.


Front depth

Torrey Craig
March 16 @ HOU
8-8 FG with 3 treys for 21 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks in 34 minutes, +27

Ish Wainright
April 6 @ BAC
4 treys, 20 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 0 turnovers, +36

I really like Torrey. His energy, his dynamism and his ability to intervene when needed. This was seen a lot more during his first stint with the team and not as much during this season. However, when the Suns played the Rockets that night, he showed what he could do. It’s a line!

Ish is such a great guy and he’s a better player than he’s given credit for, not to mention he’s built like a tank. He had career night against the Clippers.


Sham Payne/Champagne

Landry Shamet
November 4 vs. HOU
4 treys, 19 points and 4 assists in 19 minutes, +6

Cam Payne
March 15 @ NO
5-6 FG with 2 treys for 14 points, 8 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 turnovers in 27 minutes, +18

While Shamet wasn’t what the team needed from him this season, he can shoot and score. Consistency would be nice, but a point per minute like he did against the Rockets would go a long way.

Payne had a down year from the previous season, but he still had strong performances. Had he played more like he did in 2020-21 when the Suns went to the Finals, Chris Paul could have rested more and the end of the season could have been a lot happier.


Size Matters

Bismack Biyombo
January 22 vs. IND
9-12 FG for 21 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks in 30 minutes

JaVale McGee
December 10 against BOS
9-16 FG with 1 trey for 21 points, 15 rebounds and 2 blocks in 26 minutes, +18

After the central position behind DA was a weakness in 2020-21, it was a definite strength in 2021-22. When their names were called, the big players more than rose to the occasion.


It was hard to pick just one for some, so don’t judge my picks too harshly. Also, do not hesitate to let us know your choices in the comments below.

Coming tomorrow, entries

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