Sometimes, the Suns do not get assists because they miss easy shots.

Sometimes, it is because they settle for jump shots and hit cold spells.

Sometimes, it is because they just do not pass.

One way or another, the Suns are the worst passing team in the NBA and on pace for their lowest assists average in the franchise’s 46-year history.

“To be a playoff team, you have to be able to pass the ball,” Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. “Teams are going to take certain things away from you, and the openings are only there for a little bit. If you don’t make the pass at the right time, then you usually end up with a bad shot. We have to get better at that.”

The Suns are a decisively weaker team without point guard Eric Bledsoe, taking as many losses (eight) without him in 13 games as they had lost with him in 24 games. But the passing issues existed before Bledsoe’s knee surgery, although having two point guards in the league’s top 20 for assists was a nice start to rectifying the issue.

The Suns average 18.9 assists, getting one on about half of their made field goals. By contrast, San Antonio assists on 62 percent of its baskets. Phoenix (21-16) is the only team in the NBA’s bottom six for assists with a winning record.

The Suns’ 1-4 road trip started with a season-low-tying 12-assist game in a loss at Chicago and ended Monday night when they had one assist in the last 19 minutes of an overtime loss at New York.

They stayed in the game against the Knicks with Goran Dragic and Leandro Barbosa driving to score off pick-and-rolls but had prolonged offense droughts: 6:43 without a field goal in the first quarter, eight consecutive missed shots in the third quarter and 12 consecutive missed shots to end the game.

It is simple enough that the Suns would have more assists if they shot better than they did on a 39.5 percent shooting road trip. That would be leaning hard on jump shots to consistently fall. The Suns missed several close shots on Monday night, but they were mostly created off the dribble or from offensive rebounds.