Green, Frye Key to Suns’ Success
While Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe are receiving heaps of praise for their stellar seasons this year (and rightfully so), one could make an argument that the ultimate key to the success of the Suns may very well be the play of Gerald Green and Channing Frye.
That is to say, when Green and Frye are clicking, it’s infectious – as if an ignition switch was flipped throughout the entire squad.
“If they are both playing sharp, it really fuels everything we do,” Jeff Hornacek said. “Goran [Dragic] and Eric [Bledsoe] push the pace, but if those guys [Green and Frye] are hitting from the outside we make it really difficult to guard us.
“Fortunately for us, they’ve been pretty consistent at it for the most part this season.”
Indeed, they have.
Frye and Green each have 13 games with 4+ three-point makes this season; last season the entire Suns team combined had 15 such games.
Individually, over the course of the last 21 games, Frye has scored 10+ points 16 times, 20+ five times and 30+ once. He’s averaging nearly 15 points, five rebounds and shooting 44 percent from the field and 40 percent from the three-point line over that span.
Green, on the other hand, is averaging over 15 points in 32 starts this season along with 2.5 three-point makes, 1.1 steals and shooting 43 percent from the floor. His 14 points per game average is a career-high, and the Suns have won ten consecutive games when Gerald Green scores 20+ points.
“It’s just a matter of us being aggressive on both sides of the ball,” Green said. “If Channing [Frye] and I set the tone defensively, it usually helps us get going on offense. It sounds cliché, but we really just want to do everything we can to help the team win.
“Whoever has the hot hand is going to get the ball.”
Green highlights a central philosophy of this year’s Suns: selflessness.
Certainly, a trait that he and Frye instinctively share.
“It does sound tired,” Frye said of the team’s camaraderie. “But it really is true. We all like each other and enjoy both playing and hanging out together. As far as Gerald [Green] and I are concerned, if we are hitting from the outside it helps open things up for everyone else.
“But if we aren’t, we immediately focus on other ways to help the team win whether it’s defense, rebounding or from our energy.”
At 30-20 on the season, the Suns are in the midst of prepping for a playoff push. In order for that to happen, though, Jeff Hornacek says that each player will need to step up their game.
Rather, it’s possible that the team will need Green and Frye to produce more than ever.
“We know that if we lose a couple games, we’re right out of the hunt again,” Hornacek added. “I think our guys understand that we need to keep going hard and that we can’t have a letdown. We’ll need every player to continue attacking.
“Gerald and Channing are a very big part of that.”