It’s hardly a foregone conclusion that the Phoenix Suns will make the 2014 NBA Playoffs. The Suns are arguably the most pleasant surprise of the 2013-14 regular season as they went from “likely tanker” in the preseason to a team vying for a spot in the postseason. However, they’re in a dogfight with the Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks down the stretch for the last two spots in the Western Conference.
Down the stretch and possibly in the postseason, this team is going to be led the way that they have all season. Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic have been arguably the best guard duo in the entire league this season and will continue to be the driving force for the Suns over the most important stretch of their season.
However, Bledsoe and Dragic might not be the x-factor down the stretch and in the postseason. That duty may very well fall to the resurgent guard Gerald Green, who has been the sparkplug for this Phoenix team all season. Coming off of the bench, Green could be the guy that really swings things in the Suns’ favor.
On Friday in a pivotal game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Green exploded for 32 points and five boards while shooting 12-20 from the floor and 4-7 from long-range, helping guide his team to a vital 109-93 win.
Green has enjoyed arguably the best season of his career with Phoenix this season, finding new life in the fast-paced system that maximizes his ability on fast-breaks and to shoot from beyond-the-arc. He’s consistently been a big contributor for them, but has more importantly shown that he can shoulder the load offensively on occasion. The latter may be the biggest factor for the Suns right now.
The Suns have a tough six games remaining on the season, with four of those games coming against locked or possible playoff teams. More importantly, two games with the Mavs and Grizz still lie ahead. As the Suns they look to make the playoffs and possibly make some noise in the postseason, Green will be the guy Phoenix needs to step up the most.