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Phoenix Suns praised for "hard, disciplined" defense, despite loss in the pacific northwest

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The Portland Trailblazers have played eight games on the young season. Six of them have been easy offensive nights, but the two against Phoenix were struggles brought on by Phoenix's stifling defense.

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Spo

Thanks to SB Nation partner, BlazersEdge, we got a lot of quotes out of the Portland locker room about the Suns defensive effort disrupting Portland's 5th ranked offense for the second time this season.

Head Coach Terry Stotts

  • "I give Phoenix a lot of credit. They play hard. I don't think anybody could watch that game and not come away with the feeling how hard Phoenix plays."
  • "They compete for catches, they push out post-ups, they're physical in the paint, they go after the ball. They're active with their hands."
  • "I give Phoenix a lot of credit with their defense. Like a lot of games, you're going to miss shots, but I'll give them credit, they're a good defensive team."
Forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12 points on 5-for-19 shooting; scored 20+ points in 6 of first 7 games this season)
  • "They're just active. They crash the boards, they're in the passing lanes. They use their young athleticism to their advantage."
Shooting guard Wesley Matthews (11 points; scored 18+ points in 5 of first 7 games this season)
  • "They're a different kind of team. You look at them and you don't think they have a true shot-blocker or rim protector. They do it by committee. They're one of those teams that does everything by committee."
  • "They play hard, they're in the passing lanes, they convert to the ball, they make you make the extra play."

BlazersEdge writer Dave Deckard (in the game analysis article linked above)

  • "It was an unfair ending for the Suns, who play as hard and disciplined on defense as any young team in recent memory. Phoenix opened the game with two deflections and a steal on Portland's first three possessions, and they succeeded in making Portland's offense look choppier than it has since opening night."
BlazersEdge writer Timmay (in the game recap)
  • "Phoenix came in with a defensive game plan and ran it nicely, taking the Blazers out of their element by preventing three-pointers."

It's rare when an opponent gives any credit to the other team, and even rarer when it's after pulling out the win at home. Almost exclusively, a team talks about itself - what THEY did right or wrong. Rarely does the team gush about the opponent.

But a week after San Antonio squeaked out a win at home over the Suns and Tony Parker said the Suns are a good team, now Portland is giving some love as well.

Also, check out this great analysis of the Suns D from Randy Hill of Fox Sports Arizona.

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