In many respects, Jermaine O’Neal continues to be a bright spot for the Phoenix Suns.
His performance the previous game in a 102-98 victory over the Portland Trailblazers was decent as he had 20 minutes of action and was 4-of-8 from the floor and scored nine points with 13 boards. He also had 12 points in previous games. He’s played in 39 games for Portland, has not started, and has produced quality minutes.
It’s very apparent that the Suns are going to need the veteran skills of O’Neal to deliver the goods the remaining weeks of the regular season.
He’s averaging 7.2 points and five rebounds a game.
This is O’Neal’s 16th NBA season and could be his last. But O’Neal is showing so much poise and talent out on the court that it’s still fun watching him play and making decisions with the basketball.
He averaged only 5.4 and 5.0 points in his two seasons at the Boston Celtics prior to coming to Phoenix. The Suns were more than willing to give him a shot and it’s been a wise decision. Without O’Neal, the Suns would probably have lost a few more games. What’s been valuable for the Suns with O’Neal is his ability to shoot at a decent percentage and also being able to take care of the ball. He’s given the team steady leadership when it’s been needed.
At 34, he’s an aging star but his numbers are up from his Boston years.
The Suns are lucky to have him and should consider keeping him around for awhile.