In the midst of a disheartening season, the Phoenix Suns desperately need an injection of life into their lineup as the second half of the 2012-2013 campaign gets under way. One potential fix would be for center Marcin Gortat to start playing up to his potential.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s been far from a bad season for Gortat so far. The Polish Hammer has looked good in his second full year back with the Suns, but isn’t playing at the level that he’s capable of. The spark that he hasn’t shown this season is part of the reason that Phoenix is currently sitting at the bottom of the Pacific Division standings.
One of the biggest areas of concern for Gortat is rebounding. After hauling in an impressive 10 rebounds per game last season with the Suns, the 6’11’’, 240-pound center is only pulling down 8.9 rebounds per night throughout the 2012-2013 season. Considering that he’s had a year to get comfortable with the Suns lineup, those numbers should be going up or at least staying put rather than going down.
Meanwhile, his shooting hasn’t seen any improvement since last season either. Gortat’s percentage from the field has dropped from 55.5 to 52.9, which is evidenced by the drop from 15.4 to 11.5 in points per game. He hasn’t been as efficient on the offensive end of the court, and it’s putting a real damper on the Suns’ ability to stay competitive on a game-to-game basis.
Gortat has, however, improved his blocking, up from 1.5 to 1.8 in 2012-2013. His defense has been stout, but he needs to do a better job of providing support on the other side of the court if the Suns are going to get out of this rut and get back on track in the second half of the season.
Role players are important to the success of any NBA team. Gortat is one of those role players for the Suns, and they need him to step up his game soon before this season becomes a lost cause.