How will Jock Landale's season with Phoenix look like?
Opportunity awaits, with 2022/23 season placing Landale on the NBA's most interesting franchise right now.
Year two in the NBA promises to bring Jock Landale greater team success.
There’s probably more attention too, as a career detour from San Antonio to Phoenix places the 26 year old Australian on a franchise that has won more regular season games (115) than any other since the onset of COVID-19. The Phoenix Suns followed a breakthrough trip to the NBA Finals in 2021 with a historical, yet disappointing, campaign last season that capitulated at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks in the Western conference semi-finals.
As a rookie in San Antonio, Landale played 589 minutes across 54 appearances. While impact was limited to spot outings on a floundering Spurs side, Landale flashed the skills to substantiate his rise into the NBA. A number of statistical metrics —both standard and advanced— reveal promise, although it was hard to draw definitive conclusions on Landale’s standing in the NBA, both due to sample size limitations and the state of the San Antonio franchise. In that sense, the role Landale plays for the Australian Boomers alongside Patty Mills is more predictive to how he could potentially prosper in a fully functional Phoenix side.
Yes, the rules and league are different, but the theory is sound: Chris Paul and Devin Booker as the suns (pun intended) of Phoenix’s offensive universe, which would allow Landale’s intellect and savvy skills to excel with defensive attention rightfully glued elsewhere. Landale told The Arizona Republic as much, when speaking in early September.
"I was a rookie in the NBA last year, but I’m not a rookie in terms of being a professional,” Landale said. “I think that you’re trying to get to a certain point in your career and you just have such confidence in what you’re doing as a player. And your role kind of defines itself. These guys aren’t going to expect me to be a defensive stopper like they might with Mikal [Bridges], but they understand that I have a high IQ.
“I run the floor extremely hard. I rebound offensively every single time and defensively as well and I’m a shooter. I think that role just kind of speaks for itself at this point. My mindset every game is to just keep it simple and that’s rebound, run and find open shots. That’s kind of the three things that I grade myself on from game to game.”
While ownership issues have dominated the recent weeks in Phoenix (more on this down below), there is a bounty of talent which remains in this Suns roster, especially in the backcourt.
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