2013 NBA Draft: Alex Len Will Improve Phoenix Suns' Defense

By John Raffel

Alex Len could have gone higher than fifth in the NBA draft on Thursday. In fact, there was plenty of speculation of the 7-foot-1 player that he could even be the top pick.

After four picks, he was still available and Phoenix Suns were more than happy to take him. Len is expected to eventually be a major force in the NBA.

He may not turn into a devastating force in the paint for the Phoenix Suns overnight. Like with any rookie, it will take him some time to making the transition to the NBA intensified physical style of play.

But the Suns have long realized that if they’re going to be a playoff time in the NBA West, they needed better defense in the paint.

In the final game of the season, the Suns allowed a season-high 80 points to the Suns. Obviously, cutting down on that figure was a major concern for the Suns who realize getting someone to improve the team’s offense is just as good as improving the offense.

Not many observers paid much attention to Len after his freshman season and for good reason. But he doubled his stats in some areas. NBA teams like Phoenix started paying attention as the playoffs drew near.

When he went head-to-head against another high NBA pick Nerlens Noel, Len had 23 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks

There were plenty of excellent guards available in the draft, but the Suns are learning the lesson the hard way that if you don’t focus on defense first, the offense won’t matter.

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