Suns Go For Speed With Additions of Green, Plumlee
The Suns’ offseason transformation mimics that of a new line of sports cars.
In a word: faster.
The arrival of Gerald Green and Miles Plumlee fits Phoenix’s offseason goal of increasing athleticism across the roster. Green in particular brings a gazelle’s stride and box spring hops to a team that, fittingly enough, wants to run every chance it gets.
“We’re excited about [Green’s] athleticism and his ability to get up and down the floor and shoot the ball,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough. “I think he’ll fit right in with how we want to play.”
Jeff Hornacek has been equally adamant about the team’s desire to get out in transition. The Suns’ new head coach wasted no time getting in touch with Green after the trade was consummated.
Green responded with a half-joking favor.
“He said that he was excited to have me on the team,” Green said. “I was making jokes with him about shaking his magic hand to get that shooting touch he’s got.”
Green’s own shot is far from broken. The five-year NBA swingman sports a career 35.1 percent shooting clip from 3-point range. Combine that with his midair artistry – which earned him three Slam Dunk Contest berths – and it’s easy to see why Green and the Suns are eager to see him unleashed along with the rest of the offense.
“I know Phoenix has a history of up-and-down game, a transition game,” Green said. “That’s something that’s a very key part of my game. That’s something that I really flourish in. Once I knew that I was going to the Phoenix Suns,I thought this was the perfect opportunity for me to play in a system that fits in my style of play.”
Green’s excitement also stems from his new teammates, a cast of similarly young players who can keep up with his own torrid pace.
“One guy I’m really excited to play with is Eric Bledsoe,” Green said. “That kid, the things he can do and his athleticism are really something. Goran Dragic is a great point guard. We have so many great players. We really do have a lot of pieces that, I think, we have a chance to really compete next year.”
Plumlee finds chance in Phoenix
Miles Plumlee is used to waiting his turn. He did that at Duke, when he averaged just 6.8 minutes per game his freshman year. Patience paid off, and he ended up playing a key role on the Blue Devils’ 2010 championship team.
His rookie year with the Pacers brought a similar challenge, though his college days and recent summer league performance in Orlando were enough to make him a sought-after part of the Suns’ weekend trade.
“What I liked when I saw him play at Duke, and then when I’ve seen him play in the Orlando Summer League the past two years, it’s his athleticism at that size,” McDonough said. “He really rebounds. He gets up and down the floor well. He’s a big strong guy.”
Plumlee’s combination of strength and mobility make him a potential steal in Phoenix, where such assets will be used frequently in Hornacek’s uptempo system.
If his collegiate career proved anything, it’s that Plumlee is more than capable of waiting for – and seizing advantage of – his chance.
“I’ve been impressed with just how far he’s come,” McDonough said. “Early in his career at Duke, he didn’t play a whole lot and just stayed patient. He kept getting better and better and really working at it. It is encouraging to see a guy who’s got great character.”