Mikal's progress

Carolinacacti

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Sun in first place and almost everyones ?|>:>. Go over to the cardinals board and cry please. Mikal could score 20 a game if he wanted to. Yep I said it.
 

elindholm

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The Suns are still not constructed like a championship team. But we should be fair and acknowledge that they were up 2-0 in the Finals with basically the same roster, so it was right there for the taking, had they not all shrunk from the moment. Give this exact roster (with full health) a 2-0 lead in a seven-game series against the Bucks, they'll finish the deal.

Who are the #3s on the other West contenders?
 

DJ Tabooh

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Do you think bridges could score 20+ points per game if Booker weren’t playing?

Absolutely. But what’s the sample size you’re looking for? 5 games, 10 games, 20 games? Mikal’s best trait in my opinion is his biggest weakness: unselfishness.

He sacrifices the most of anyone in our starting lineup and yet you never hear him complain. He just does his job. The ultimate glue guy. Does his off the bounce game need to improve? Yes. Opportunities would open up a lot if Book was out.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Absolutely. But what’s the sample size you’re looking for? 5 games, 10 games, 20 games? Mikal’s best trait in my opinion is his biggest weakness: unselfishness.

He sacrifices the most of anyone in our starting lineup and yet you never hear him complain. He just does his job. The ultimate glue guy. Does his off the bounce game need to improve? Yes. Opportunities would open up a lot if Book was out.
I think the sample size is irrelevant. Is he talented/skilled enough offensively to do so and keep us a good (not even contending) team? I have my doubts.
 
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JCSunsfan

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I think the sample size is irrelevant. Is he talented/skilled enough offensively to do so and keep us a good (not even contending) team? I have my doubts.
Yes. I think he could score 20 a game.

Right now he is the 4th or 5th scoring option behind Book, Paul, Ayton, and even Cam when he is healthy.

It's not really worth arguing because scoring 20 a game is not what he is being asked to do. So I really don't know for sure. I do think Ayton is in his way to being our second 20 ppg scorer. Hopefully.
 

Muggz

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Ill take 16pts and everything else Mikal does over 98% of the players in the league. Money WELL spent.
He's due a big game.
 

DJ Tabooh

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Ill take 16pts and everything else Mikal does over 98% of the players in the league. Money WELL spent.
He's due a big game.

For comparison, Jordan Poole is averaging the same amount of points and he got paid $120 million over 4 years. Mikal’s contract is a BARGAIN.
 

SirStefan32

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Here’s the problem with this… we don’t have a second 20 ppg scorer. Also, Bridges doesn’t need to be a 20 ppg scorer. But his inability to create his own offense is a problem if he’s our third best player. The Warriors, Spurs, Bulls, Heat, even the Raptors all had AT LEAST 3 guys who could create on their own and for others (Bulls 91-93 really only had Jordan and Pip but they were two of the best creators of all time. Same with the Shaq/Kobe Lakers. We’ve got no one on those levels of number 1 with Shaq/Jordan).

Warriors V1 had Steph/Klay/Draymond/Iggy/Harrison Barnes/Livingston. That was 3 elite offensive players, 2 of which were also elite defenders and then 3 solid creators outside of their top 3. and version 2.0 had an incredible top 4 with Steph/Klay/KD/Draymond. 3.0 had Steph/Poole/Wiggins (easily the weakest of the teams).

Spurs: Duncan/Ginobli/Parker. Then Duncan/Ginobli/Parker/Kawhi. All those guys hall of famers.

Raptors: Kawhi/Siakam/Gasol/Lowry.

Bucks: Giannis/Middleton/Holiday… and then guys like Bobby Portis who could post.

Then there’s Shaq/Kobe who were arguably the best 2 or 3 players in the game and arguably top 15 of all time. And then same with MJ/Pippen, but even their second 3 peat teams had an excellent Swiss Army knife in Kukoc who could create and create matchup nightmares.

As is, this team currently and reliably has has ONE GREAT player with Book. But no one else is a reliable #2 game out to do this and definitely isn’t elite at the level previous title winners were. CP3 was that guy last year until he apparently stopped being able to play basketball at a high level once the clock struck 37. And as of yet, Ayton/Bridges don’t come close to any of those #2 guys on title winners. Ayton is flashing the potential to be that #2… but we’ve been here before. If he can sustain that, it’s GINORMOUS. But I think Bridges not being able to consistently create off the bounce will hurt us when the chips are down against an elite D like the Bucks or Celtics.

That's exactly how I see it. Suns have three guys who would be great as third options, but they are missing the second option. CP3, Bridges, and Ayton are great as third options, but none of them are a reliable second option. Paul can do it in short bursts when healthy, but that's about it. If Ayton keeps playing the way he has, then maybe he approaches that level, but I am going to need to see more than 5-10 games of his playing as well as he has been playing.
 
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JCSunsfan

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That's exactly how I see it. Suns have three guys who would be great as third options, but they are missing the second option. CP3, Bridges, and Ayton are great as third options, but none of them are a reliable second option. Paul can do it in short bursts when healthy, but that's about it. If Ayton keeps playing the way he has, then maybe he approaches that level, but I am going to need to see more than 5-10 games of his playing as well as he has been playing.
I think that is fair. I posted something similar to this a while back when I said that the Suns biggest need (in a trade) is a #2 option. I think DA might be on his way to becoming a second option, but shouldn't at least one of your top 3 be a pg?
 

cheesebeef

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I think that is fair. I posted something similar to this a while back when I said that the Suns biggest need (in a trade) is a #2 option. I think DA might be on his way to becoming a second option, but shouldn't at least one of your top 3 be a pg?
Celtics are showing not necessarily.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Yes. I think he could score 20 a game.

Right now he is the 4th or 5th scoring option behind Book, Paul, Ayton, and even Cam when he is healthy.

It's not really worth arguing because scoring 20 a game is not what he is being asked to do. So I really don't know for sure. I do think Ayton is in his way to being our second 20 ppg scorer. Hopefully.
Yeah this is meaningless in a season where there’s no cam Johnson or Chris Paul and where until lately Ayton wasn’t showing up.

And the irony of this post about Ayton coming today isn’t lost on me.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Cam someone change the title of this thread to: Tortilla’s regression
 

TJ

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If Mikal were averaging only 8 ppg and providing the defense that some think he’s capable of contributing, his value to this team would be outstanding. He needs to try to be more like Bruce Bowen than Scottie Pippen. As it stands, Mikal’s best value to this team is as an asset in a trade
 

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If Mikal were averaging only 8 ppg and providing the defense that some think he’s capable of contributing, his value to this team would be outstanding. He needs to try to be more like Bruce Bowen than Scottie Pippen. As it stands, Mikal’s best value to this team is as an asset in a trade
Sometimes I think Suns fans are all lunatics.

People have complained for the last 3 years Mikal doesn't try to score enough, now he tries to but because he has never been a primary scorer in college or the NBA he's not great at it yet, and instead of giving him time to adjust to his new role people are roasting him and telling him to stop trying.

That's not the way things work, people aren't immediately great with no practice.
 

TJ

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Sometimes I think Suns fans are all lunatics.

People have complained for the last 3 years Mikal doesn't try to score enough, now he tries to but because he has never been a primary scorer in college or the NBA he's not great at it yet, and instead of giving him time to adjust to his new role people are roasting him and telling him to stop trying.

That's not the way things work, people aren't immediately great with no practice.
Yeah I agree. I never saw Mikal as someone you need to run your offense thru. At best, 3&D. But the D isn’t there at the moment. If he can’t give guys like Luka a hard time every game, he has little purpose being in the line up.
 

Proximo

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Yeah I agree. I never saw Mikal as someone you need to run your offense thru. At best, 3&D. But the D isn’t there at the moment. If he can’t give guys like Luka a hard time every game, he has little purpose being in the line up.
What? Little purpose in being in the lineup? Exactly who is going to take his place?

Look at his stats, he is clearly one of the Suns best 3 players statistically in terms of efficiency. Just because his defense is down over his normal performance - it is still better than the average NBA players.

Where is the ragging on CP3, he is playing every bit as bad recently, and the difference with him is he has had maybe one good game all year, while Mikal has had 10 or more.
 

AzStevenCal

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Yeah I agree. I never saw Mikal as someone you need to run your offense thru. At best, 3&D. But the D isn’t there at the moment. If he can’t give guys like Luka a hard time every game, he has little purpose being in the line up.
No, it isn't but ask yourself why. Is he giving less effort? I certainly don't see it. He's just fallen off a cliff the past 3 or 4 weeks on both ends of the court. Maybe the league has all of a sudden figured him out but I really doubt it. As for his scoring, I think he can be a good number 3 or 4 weapon but he's a complementary scorer, he's not capable of being the first or second option on a regular basis.
 

cheesebeef

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What? Little purpose in being in the lineup? Exactly who is going to take his place?

Look at his stats, he is clearly one of the Suns best 3 players statistically in terms of efficiency. Just because his defense is down over his normal performance - it is still better than the average NBA players.

Where is the ragging on CP3, he is playing every bit as bad recently, and the difference with him is he has had maybe one good game all year, while Mikal has had 10 or more.
This isn’t hard to understand.

the reason there’s not as much tagging on CP3 is everyone is pretty much in agreement that CP3 is much worse than last year and probably will only break down further as the season goes.

Meanwhile, even though it’s blatantly obvious that Bridges is just a good role player, there’s still a lot of posters who wildly overrate him in any myriad of ways that we’ve seen over the last couple years, from talking about him being able to reach some kind of mythical potential he’s never reached as if it were fact and blowing his value way out of proportion in regard to superstars in the league.

Also, he’s just been disastrous at the end of games this season and talks a lot of trash for a guy who’s accomplished zero. He and the FO/Coaches also talked a big game coming into the season about the leaps and bounds his game had taken coming into the season and when given the chance to put his money where his and their mouth is, he’s thrown up on himself instead.
 

cheesebeef

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No, it isn't but ask yourself why. Is he giving less effort? I certainly don't see it. He's just fallen off a cliff the past 3 or 4 weeks on both ends of the court. Maybe the league has all of a sudden figured him out but I really doubt it. As for his scoring, I think he can be a good number 3 or 4 weapon but he's a complementary scorer, he's not capable of being the first or second option on a regular basis.
You can’t be a good #3 option if you’re almost entirely dependent on others to create your offense for you.
 

AzStevenCal

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You can’t be a good #3 option if you’re almost entirely dependent on others to create your offense for you.
I don't think that's accurate, especially in today's game. There are a lot of good scorers that get most of their points coming off of screens. And it's not like Mikal can't put the ball on the floor when the defender closes out on him, he's done it many times. He isn't a strong ballhandler but he's not exactly Shawn Marion in that department either.
 

GatorAZ

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No, it isn't but ask yourself why. Is he giving less effort? I certainly don't see it. He's just fallen off a cliff the past 3 or 4 weeks on both ends of the court. Maybe the league has all of a sudden figured him out but I really doubt it. As for his scoring, I think he can be a good number 3 or 4 weapon but he's a complementary scorer, he's not capable of being the first or second option on a regular basis.
Individual defense is one of the most difficult aspects of basketball to diagnose. Some nights you don’t have the energy or just care less for whatever reason.

Bridges falls in the consistently good but not great type defenders. He was well developed early by playing 3 years in college for a great program and has the length to cause problems for offenses but he provides little resistant to longer/stronger scorers.

He’s not the freak of nature defender Giannis and young Kawhi were. He’s not the tenacious/aggressive defender Smart and Jaren Jackson are. He doesn’t have genius defensive iq like Holiday or younger Draymond. He’s just kinda good in all aspects. In the last two playoff series losses I’m not even sure he was a positive defensively and that’s when it matters most.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Sometimes I think Suns fans are all lunatics.

People have complained for the last 3 years Mikal doesn't try to score enough, now he tries to but because he has never been a primary scorer in college or the NBA he's not great at it yet, and instead of giving him time to adjust to his new role people are roasting him and telling him to stop trying.

That's not the way things work, people aren't immediately great with no practice.
He’s 26 years old and been playing basketball at high levels his whole life. When do you think the light is going to suddenly come on? How much more practice does he need?
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Yeah I agree. I never saw Mikal as someone you need to run your offense thru. At best, 3&D. But the D isn’t there at the moment. If he can’t give guys like Luka a hard time every game, he has little purpose being in the line up.
Correct. Maybe we were all too hopeful of him being a “lockdown” defender. But I can’t even recall the last time he held a top scorer down effectively. He’s worthless against luka. Doesn’t seem to bother many top scorers much anymore other than occasional strip or highlight block. Those tend to be big plays, but the other plays he doesn’t make the stars work much.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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What? Little purpose in being in the lineup? Exactly who is going to take his place?

Look at his stats, he is clearly one of the Suns best 3 players statistically in terms of efficiency. Just because his defense is down over his normal performance - it is still better than the average NBA players.

Where is the ragging on CP3, he is playing every bit as bad recently, and the difference with him is he has had maybe one good game all year, while Mikal has had 10 or more.
I think everyone accepts Paul, at 37, isn’t what he’s been last couple of years. It’s expected that a dude that old will slow down.

Bridges ain’t 37.
 

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