Well, it wasn't pretty. In fact, the Suns looked downright rusty at times in their season opener, and Seattle rookie Kevin Durant looked like he had been playing in the NBA for a lot longer than a week. The Sonics played like the team that wanted it more for the better part of three quarters, but ultimately, the Suns' experience prevailed. The Suns broke out a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, and won the game by seven.
The Good: Marcus Banks made four of his six shots, including 4-5 three pointers. In addition, many of his shots came at critical times when the Suns really needed to score. Brian Skinner made the most of his limited time, nailing both of his shots, and playing much better defense inside than anyone else on the team. Amare Stoudemire, Grant Hill, Steve Nash, and Shawn Marion also made some nice plays in key moments to help seal the win.
The Bad: The Suns were out-rebounded by six, and gave up 11 offensive rebounds.
The Ugly: Turnovers killed the Suns in the first half. Amare picking up his third foul in the first half was pretty ugly too.
Player of the Game: Marcus Banks. He didn't have the best +/- (that was Boris Diaw), he wasn't the highest scorer (that was Amare Stoudemire), and he wasn't the guy making the big shots at the end of the game (that was Steve Nash). But I'm giving this honor to Marcus anyway tonight because (a) his spot-on three point shooting kept the Suns in it earlier in the game, and (b) it may be the only time all year I get to type the words "Marcus Banks was Player of the Game".
Runner-Up: Chris Wilcox. Kevin Durant will get most of the props in the media and they are well deserved. But Wilcox hurt the Suns more with 23 points on 11-17 shooting, and 11 rebounds, including four of the maddening offensive variety. He also had three steals.
Grading the Game: All total, I'd give the Suns a B- tonight I think. Not their best work, but enough to get it done against a young, inexperienced Seattle team. One down, 81 more to go until the playoffs.