Suns Climb League Stats and Power Rankings

NBAE/Getty Images

Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek preaches effort first, and the team appears to be listening. After opening week, Phoenix sits in the top 10 in the following categories:

  • Rebounds per game (7th)
  • Blocks (8th)
  • Fast break points (1st)
  • Points in the paint allowed (6th)
  • Opponent’s field goal percentage (3rd)
  • Opponent’s 3-point percentage (1st)
  • Points allowed (4th)

Only one of the aforementioned categories is related to offense, a sign that the Suns are indeed embracing Hornacek’s affinity for hard-nosed defense. If the offense can catch up to the defense, Phoenix would be well-positioned to make its opening week success a frequent affair.

SUNS CLIMB VARIOUS POWER RANKINGS

Monday is, by and large, review day for the previous week’s activities. Many of those reviews come in the form of fun-to-read power rankings, the most-read of which are published by ESPN.com and USA Today.

The Suns’ 2-1 start to the season didn’t go unnoticed in these opinionated polls. After near-bottom projections at the start of the season,

Phoenix made double-digit leaps in both polls, ESPN.com ranked the Suns 16th (up from 29th), while USA Today vaulted them even further, at 11th (also up from 29).

Of the three teams Phoenix plays this week, only the Spurs (4th in both polls) are ranked higher.

SPEAKING OF STATS...

Eric Bledsoe's scorching first week with the Suns (22.0 ppg, 8.7 apg, 6.3 rpg, 2.0 spg) is even more impressive when looking at how it happened. Already mentioned in Suns.com's Best of the Week was his fourth-quarter production: 35 of his total 66 points came in the fourth quarter.

Bledsoe is earning his points, too. Of his field goals made, 88.9 percent of them have been unassisted. Translation: He has created nearly 90 percent of his shots by himself.

In recent years the Suns have been out to find a guy who can create his own shot. If week one is any indication, it looks like they found him.