Early in the fourth quarter of the Suns’ loss to the Portland Trail Blazers Saturday, 7-foot-1 center Alex Len sprinted down the floor, received a pass near the rim but missed the dunk. Thirteen seconds later, after a Tyler Ulis steal, Len again ran the floor, caught the pass from Ulis and this time didn’t miss, the dunk cutting Portland’s lead to one point. Phoenix’s bench erupted. When center Alan “Big Sauce” Williams was lost for much of the season with a knee injury it was fair to wonder just how much production the Suns would get from the center position. Chandler is 35, and Len is coming off a season in which he lost playing time to Williams and had to come back to Phoenix on a one-year qualifying offer. But after six games Chandler and Len are averaging a combined 17.7 points and 17.6 rebounds per game. Len, in particular, has had a strong start to his season. His 10.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game are both career highs. “I think they’re both playing well,” interim coach Jay Triano said. “I think they’re both playing hard. They’re anchoring our defense at the rim.” The Suns had a pretty good idea of what they could expect from Chandler. He hasn’t averaged fewer than 8.7 rebounds and 7.2 points per game since the 2009-10 season. He’s already had three double-digit rebound games this season, including 14 each against the Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento Kings.
Suns big men Alex Len, Tyson Chandler producing big numbers from center position
Arizona Republic | Oct 31