Though it seems a bit silly now, there were actually relatively high hopes for the Phoenix Suns coming into the 2012-2013 NBA season. However, after they finished the year with the fourth worst record in the league and the worst record in the Western Conference, it’s clear that the reasoning for those expectations was nothing more than fool’s gold.
As the Suns move forward, they have a lot of work to do. They have assembled a roster with no apparent purpose and that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. They also have Michael Beasley under contract for the next couple of years, which is never a good thing for a franchise. One thing that could prove to be a positive for them, though, is if Marcin Gortat can have a bounce-back year in the 2013-2014 season.
In the 2011-2012 lockout-shortened season, Gortat really came on as an emerging star at the center position. Playing in all 66 games and being on the floor for 32 minutes per game, Gortat averaged 15.4 points, 10 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game while shooting a fantastic 55.5 percent from the floor. He was the rock for Phoenix in the post.
The Suns were expecting him to be that same type of player in the 2012-2013 season, but that didn’t happen. In the 61 games he played before a season-ending injury, Gortat averaged just 11.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game on 52.1 percent shooting. Overall he seemed less aggressive and like a shell of the player that dominated just one season prior.
If Gortat can return to his 15 points and 10 rebounds per game form next season it will greatly benefit this Phoenix team. It’s obviously not going to carry them to a title and they probably won’t even make it into the postseason. However, it will give them a place to start as they look to figure out the direction that they want to take this team.