It was clear from the opening jump that the Suns weren't going to have it. Perhaps it was a plan to never get invited back to Monterrey, or perhaps they were tired, or maybe they just weren't trying that hard. Whatever the reason, the Suns were never really in this game. Enter the stock quote from Amare Stoudemire:
"We had a lot of fun (on the trip to Mexico). We have a lot of fans out here in Mexico and I thought it was a successful trip for us..."
OK, maybe they had some successful practices or maybe making it back alive was considered a success. But shooting 38% can hardly be considered successful in an NBA game.
It could be easy to hit the Dragic panic button as it could be just as easy to say Amare "isn't there yet." But I will not panic, instead I'll just say that I didn't see much inspiration out of the squad as a whole last night, and I'm not very concerned.
Among the positives:
- We need to clone Jared Dudley. He's always playing 110%, with a swagger to him that should be contagious.
- Jason Richardson looked great coming off the bench, knocking down a couple of threes, and um, HE TOOK A CHARGE! Other than that, I did see some good man to man D from Rich which aligns with his comments regarding putting extra emphasis on D this year.
- While Channing Frye didn't exactly shoot the lights out by any means, I was impressed with his defense. He had a nice block and wasn't afraid to mix it up under the hoop. It was my first chance to see him in a Suns jersey, and while his shot looked very flat, you can tell he doesn't disappear when things aren't going his way.
- Louis Amundson showed some aggressiveness-on the offensive end! Seeing him make a move and drain a shot that wasn't an offensive rebound putback seems strange. And let us not forget the Suns highlight of the game-the sequence in the third period where Lou and Dudley took on three 76ers underneath the hoop. The junkyard dog and El Louis, kept at it until Amundson drew a foul.
And now for the rest, which wasn't all that pretty:
- The Suns didn't do much well in this game. They shot poorly, they were out-rebounded, and they committed a lot of turnovers. Steve Nash often looked like a quarterback whose receivers had no idea what play was being called. On at least two occasions he passed to a sea of red jerseys with no Sun around.
- Alando Tucker is playing himself out of rotation time. I like him as an individual a lot, but he appeared nervous with the start and couldn't get anything to fall later on in the game.
- Earl Clark shouldn't be taking a shot outside 15 feet. If I had it my way, he wouldn't be shooting at all unless it was a fast break layup. He was also late on a couple of rotations on the defensive end. OK, he's a rookie, I won't give him that much grief.
- Dragic had 6 assists which is slightly encouraging. But like the rest of the Suns other than J-Rich, his shot wasn't falling, and on more than one occasion he appeared out of control. My favorite was his behind the back move followed by a behind the back pass to the half court line. No Suns player nearby.
- The Suns were out-rebounded 58-49, many of which were offensive rebounds that resulted in second 76er second chance points. Does that sound familiar to anyone?
Next up for the Suns, Tuesday against the Kings. See you all there! ??
Highlights via NBA.com