NBA Western Power Rankings Week 5: Thunder thrive, Grizzlies rise

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Nov 29, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker (17) is congratulated by point guard Brandon Knight (3) after scoring a basket against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Suns beat the Raptors 107-102. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

9th: Phoenix Suns (21 points)

By Jeff Nisius

Record: 8-10

Record last week: 1-3

Despite losing five of six, the Suns knocked off the Raptors in Toronto on Sunday. The defense has been lousy recently, which seems out of place considering Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, P.J. Tucker and Tyson Chandler are all good defenders.

Fortunately, the Bledsoe and Knight backcourt have proven to be a good one, combining for 44.1 points and 11.8 assists per game. The problem has been outside those two, nobody else has emerged as a reliable scoring threat. The Suns are playing at the league’s fastest pace, which has propped up some of the bench scoring numbers, but when the Suns encounter a good defense, it has been easy to key in on shutting down Bledsoe or Knight and limiting everyone else’s contributions.

The franchise is still somewhat in building mode, but if they want to remain a threat for the playoffs another scoring piece is going to be needed on the wing.

Next: Minnesota Timberwolves