Your Phoenix Suns advanced to 2015 NBA Summer League postseason play after a 91-82 win over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night. Phoenix finished the Summer League "regular season" 2-1. The Suns tallied wins over Utah and Washington and lost on Sunday to the Houston Rockets.
Alex Len got the start on Tuesday after a day off on Sunday. Len would finish with a game high 14 rebounds. After the game Len talked about the Suns getting off to a better start on Tuesday, and about the increased effort on the defensive end of the court early.
"Coach before the game he just told me he wanted me to start, get the team going on defense. So i was trying to be loud out there."
"I think we did a really good job today on defense. Everybody was talking, was active, it showed."
Coach Nate Bjorkgren addressed the physicality of the Suns and the rebounding margin advantage Phoenix held against Utah.
"Yeah you know as a team I think we were plus 9 on the glass and that was the first game here in summer league we did win the boards. That's been our big focus here, especially the last couple days so Alex is a big part of that but I thought the rest of the guys were doing a nice job of having physical blockouts so that was good."
"There's some ups and downs through these games but I thought the defensive energy was there. I thought our offensive movement was much more crisp our cuts were sharp i thought we were really sharing the basketball we were getting to the paint and kicking out to shooters so the guys shared the ball nicely today."
The shooter most people had their eyes on was first round pick Devin Booker. Booker shot 4-11 in game one and 2-12 in game two. Through those two games he was 0-8 from three-point range. On Tuesday night he led all scorers with 18 points on 7-18 shooting and hit 2 of 5 three point attempts. Len talked about the confidence the team has in Booker.
"We know he's a shooter. Last game he had a little bit of a night off so today he was better. We know he's a shooter so we have confidence in him. He came through tonight."
Bjorkgren praised the other things Booker brings to the court.
"Everybody talks about him being a shooter, and a great shooter, which he is, but he can put it on the floor now too. He can come off ball screens and he makes nice reads. He comes up with his eyes open, you know, he's a willing passer so I thought he did a lot of nice things today."
"That's the thing, off those ball screens he'll take what the defense gives him. He can put it on the deck going left and he can pass after he's attacking the rim. He has good vision for the diving bigs."
Perhaps most important on Tuesday night was the contribution of the Phoenix reserves. The Suns got 35 points from the bench, including 15 from Josh Harrellson and 8 from Mickey McConnell.
"Yeah, they did a nice job," Bjorkgren said. "They really got that ball movement, you know I think I went with the first five there for about the first eight or nine minutes of the game, then i kind of rode that second group for just as long. So, it was just kind of waves of four and five guys there but they did I thought both groups shared the ball nicely."
Phoenix starts tournament play on Thursday at 1pm PT against the winner of the Milwaukee Bucks, Houston Rockets matchup.