Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE
To me, this was the best game the Phoenix Suns played all year. Aside from a brief slow start, the team played hard and smart and the coaching staff made exactly the right calls to neutralize the Denver Nuggets advantages.
The obvious statistical reason for the win was the turnover differential which went in favor of the Suns by a 15-6 margin. That, along with a +6 edge in offensive rebounding, led to 18 additional shot attempts for the Suns.
That's a lot.
That will let you survive giving up 55 percent shooting. It erases a lot of mistakes. The great equalizer (except the result was a win and not a tie -- how's that tie tasting now, 49ers!).
Overall, there was a lot to like from this game and for me, it was the first glimpse of this team's potential.
Here's what folks are saying about the game, starting with this brilliant tweet:
Dragic won this game nearly single handedly on both ends of floor (and with both of his hands)— Seth Pollack (@sethpo) November 13, 2012
Great story from Kris focusing on Gentry:
Suns Coach Alvin Gentry, A Complicated Man - SB Nation Arizona
According to Michael Beasley he is still getting used to his coach, but one thing he has learned is that you do not question coach, because he is smarter than all of us.
Our bros in Denver didn't take too kindly to that love tap Telfair and Morris delivered to a flying Manimal (glad he's Ok!):
Nuggets at Suns recap: Nuggets channel their inner "meh", lose to Suns 110-100 - Denver Stiffs
After Markieff Morris undercut Manimal's legs, sending him crashing to the ground on his back (and come on now, that was clearly intentional) it was questionable whether or not Faried should have even been in the game.
The estimable Randy Hill agreed with my observations that Goran's defense was impressive:
Group effort by Suns enough to beat Nuggets
The catalyst was Dragic, who bagged 10 points to keep Phoenix in the game during a typically-sideways first quarter. The Dragon finished with a game-high 21 points (making 7 of 12 shots) and 7 assists. But perhaps more important was his stellar defense against the elusive Ty Lawson.
Other recaps and quotes:
Phoenix Suns 110, Denver Nuggets 100 -- Nightmare matchup no longer
The Suns’ improvement against Denver starts defensively at the point guard spot, where Goran Dragic and Sebastian Telfair did a much better job containing Ty Lawson than Steve Nash ever did.
Phoenix Suns take down Denver Nuggets
"We talked about an hour and a half about that (Monday morning)," Gentry said of potential lineup changes. "Do we make a change or do we try to feel this thing out for a few more games to see if making a change makes sense? "Those are the things we have to look at and meet as a staff and decide. But it’s not going to get solved overnight. It takes time when you put guys out there and they’re learning a new system and learning each other. "We’d like it to be coming together right now, and in certain situations we’ve played very good basketball. What we’re trying to do is get consistency in the execution part of it."
POSTGAME QUOTES: SUNS VS. NUGGETS - NOV. 12, 2012 | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE PHOENIX SUNS
Andre Iguodala (On Defensive Shortcomings) "They just did a good job of picking us apart on defense. We really couldn’t get any stops. They had a couple of guys that just had it going. Defensively we’ve been a lot better the last four games, and tonight we just had some mental lapses and coverages. We were too lax in letting them get wherever they wanted to go and we didn’t disrupt them enough and they got some confidence and Dragic got it going in the fourth quarter."
Are we seeing the Suns turn a corner with Dudley and Telfair starting to return to form and Morris waking from his early season slumber? Too soon to say, but it's nice to see players playing their plays like actors in a play. (ugh...did I really write that?)
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Do you think the Suns have turned a corner?
Yes. Things are starting to look better! (115 votes)
Nah, it was just one game. The Nuggets didn't play well. (33 votes)
148 total votes