Suns Need to go 'Full Throttle' Rest of the Season
The Phoenix Suns have proven all season that while riding the Hornacek Highway, there is one speed and one speed only: fast. But with the final month of the season upon us, it may be time to find yet another gear for the team to throw it into.
Suns guard Eric Bledsoe, during an interview Saturday, may have inadvertently found that and the team’s battle cry for the rest of the way while talking about his potential return.
“Full throttle when I come back,” Bledsoe told the media.
When Bledsoe returns to the lineup, with Wednesday at home against the Cavaliers looking to be the likely date, the team will return to full strength for the first time since December (minus Leandro Barbosa). The potent duo affectionately known by many fans as the Slash Bros, will have a chance to show yet again a glimpse of what the future may hold for the franchise.
That’s not to say the team has seen a Godzilla-sized drop-off in production in Bledsoe’s absence. In fact, one could argue the injury forced other pieces on the team, like Gerald Green and Ish Smith, to find and define who they are as Suns and help shape the team’s identity in a way that may never have happened.
Even Bledsoe acknowledged as much.
“I knew they weren’t going to let off the pedal when I went down,” the guard said. “I knew they were going to keep coming, because this team has a lot of fight and we play hard every night.”
The Suns are still 10 games over .500 and have managed to remain relevant in a Western Conference more tightly packed than Sofia Vergara in a dress. So where does that leave us? With the questions; can fast get faster and can a team’s effort that seems to be at 11 on a regular bases be taken to another level yet again?
The answer is yes. Like an ‘80s movie villain, every time you want to write this team off or bury them, they come back with a vengeance.
Even Coach Hornacek indicated that he thinks his players can find a new gear following Sunday’s tough loss to Golden State.
"We've got to be tougher,” the first-year coach said. “We play tough in stretches. For five minutes here and five minutes there. Probably for a total of 15 minutes a game, we're tough. The rest of the time we kind of float through and just expect balls to land in our hands. You've got to go after it when balls are there, especially in the heat of the game when you're trying to make a comeback."
Like the Suns have done all year, they’re looking to prove doubters wrong by finding another level of performance. They’re shifting gears and are trying to go “full throttle” as they enter the final, and possibly most difficult, stretch of the season. What better way to do that by adding, or at least re-introducing, one of the toughest and most athletic guards in the league back into the fold?