Cam Johnson and Suns’ perfect role players form championship nucleus in Phoenix

Going deep in the playoffs requires a special support crew

Yep, they’ve been soaring.
Yep, they’ve been soaring.
Image: Getty Images

The Suns have proven that they belong among the NBA’s elite. That argument is over.


They have two great guards and an emerging big man who is getting more dominant game by game. The Suns obviously don’t get anywhere without the services of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton. Those three are integral to the success of this squad… but so are all the other guys.

In the NBA, good role players can be the difference between being the ninth seed and going to the conference finals. Having guys that know exactly what to do to help the team and can hit timely shots is the key to going far.

The Suns are filled with those types of guys, so it’s no surprise that they find themselves in a position to win a championship.

Cam Payne, Jae Crowder, Mikal Bridges, and Cam Johnson are players who have that “it” factor that you need in role players for your team to win a chip. They are tough, unselfish, and they are unafraid of the moment.

Payne has proven he can be a playmaker in the second unit and causes defenses fits when he gets in rhythm. Crowder is going to guard any team’s best player and hit clutch shots when open. Bridges can do almost anything on the court and thrives as a cutter and slasher who can also hit perimeter shots.

And then there is Johnson.

As just a second-year player in the league he’s giving you nearly 50/40/90 performance during this playoff run.


He’s been a bright spot for Phoenix, surprising many people. And what’s even more shocking is that he has played so well while attempting a criminally low amount of field goals per game. He’s only getting 5.1 shot attempts per game in this year’s playoffs.


If I was as hot as Johnson has been in these playoffs, you best believe the ball would have gone up more than five times in a game. I’d probably be averaging close to 10 on general principle!

However, Johnson is the perfect example of why the Suns’ role players are so legit. They do what they do and they stick to it. If the game calls for Johnson to get 15 points on corner threes, he can do it. But he knows exactly what his role is, how to play it, and how not to step outside it.


That is the key to championship teams.

Guys like Johnson and the other role players on the Suns are what allows this team to be great.