Thereâ€™s one team that leads the league in points per game, three-point shooting percentage, free-throw percentage and overall field goal percentage. Thatâ€™s the Phoenix Suns.
The Suns are good for 110.3 PPG. The team field goal mark is 49.41% and they have an impressive 40% three-point success rate. Their free throw mark is 80.74% Phoenix, however, has the second best mark in the league, with a record of 61- 19 (at the writing of this article). Their winning mark is bested by the Dallas Mavericks who are currently at 65- 14.
Despite the Sunsâ€™ offensive output, thereâ€™s plenty about which to be concerned. First, thereâ€™s the lack of defense. The Suns allow opponents to score an average of 102.7 PPG against them, making them 24th in that category! Consider that the league leaders in victories, the Mavs, allow opponents only 92.9 PPG. Itâ€™s true that the differential between Phoenix and opponents is +7.6 and the differential between Dallas and opponents is 7.4â€”almost the same. But consider also that on the boards the Mavericks are +3.9, while the Suns are -2.1.
Yet, if youâ€™re looking for defense such as steals, blocks and turnoversâ€”neither of these teams excels.
A team everyone should be concerned about is the San Antonio Spurs. Hereâ€™s whyâ€”they have solid offensive output and a good defense. Although the Spurs score well below what the Suns score per gameâ€”99.1 PPG to 110.3 PPG, they have the best differential in points scored. San Antonio is +9.2 PPG when compared to opponents.
Additionally, they are second in field goal percentage at 47.66% and tied for third in three-pointers at 38%. They are also right on the heels of the Suns in free-throw accuracy, hitting 80.67% to the Sunsâ€™ 80.74%. The Spurs are also better on steals and blocks than either Phoenix or Dallas.
Look for the Spurs to be tough on offense. The Suns may have a tough time against the better defensive teams and the Mavs will be close contenders in the Western mix. Upcoming in the blog at look at some teams in the East, defenses and league leadersâ€”all of which can make a difference.