It has been a genuinely rough start to the season for the Phoenix Suns. They currently have a 2-11 record while every other team in the Western Conference has already reached at least five wins.
One of the bright spots about the team has been Mikal Bridges. His averages of 18.4 minutes, 7.2 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 0.9 assists may not jump off the page, but he has been impressive.
The impact that Bridges makes goes beyond the box score. It can be seen in the fact that he is the only player regularly in the Suns’ rotation that has a positive net rating through 13 games.
So far, there hasn’t been a significant amount of opportunity provided to him. He has only played in six games where he has received at least 20 minutes of time on the floor.
In those six games, Bridges is averaging 10.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 1.7 turnovers. He is also shooting 46.7 percent from the field, 43.5 percent from beyond the arc, and 85.7 percent on free throws
There have been three performances, in particular, where Bridges has shown his potential as a player. Those games came against the San Antonio Spurs, Memphis Grizzlies, and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Against the Spurs, Bridges played in 27 minutes and recorded 16 points, one rebound, three assists, two steals, and one turnover. He shot 66.7 percent from the field, 50 percent from deep, and 75 percent on free throws.
In the Suns’ matchup with the Grizzlies, he produced 14 points, one rebound, two steals, one block, and one turnover and closed the game to get a win. He shot 83.3 percent from the field, 100 percent from three, and 80 percent on free throws.
In Phoenix’s most recent contest with the Thunder, Bridges put up 13 points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal, two blocks, and three turnovers. It wasn’t his most efficient night, but he showed positive flashes.
It appears as if Bridges has shown enough to the worst team in the Western Conference that he at least deserves more playing time. Whether that means giving him a starting job or not.
Here are three reasons why the Suns should consider starting Mikal Bridges:
Next Up: Reason 3