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Even with the win against Indiana, this was a terrible week for the Suns. The two losses to Denver and Philadelphia were inexcusable because they weren't even close. What can the Suns do to right the ship for the rest of the season? Your guess is as good as mine.
I've been looking but so far no new news on T.J. Warren's illness or when he will be able to return to the court. Hopefully he will be well soon and able to play in the next game against the Washington Wizards on Monday. Also nothing new on when Tyson Chandler will return to the lineup but I expect it will be soon.
Seriously. I couldn’t find any one thing in the stats to point to and call it "key" this week. The Suns' bench played exceptionally well in the Indiana game scoring 78 of the 116 total points scored that night but they, and the starters, weren't good enough to keep us from getting blown out in the other two games against teams that we should have at least been able to keep close. It was an up and down week for everyone on the roster, both starters and bench players.
Alan "Big Sauce" Williams did make the most out of his extended playing time in the past two games though. Williams averaged 13.5 points, 13.0 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, 2.0 steals and had a shooting percentage of .733. Tyler Ulis also made the most of his time on the court in the last two games averaging 18 minutes, 9.5 points, 3.5 assists, 4.0 steals and 2.0 rebounds while shooting 46.7% from the field. While I wouldn't call their stats "key", they were a couple of bright spots in a fairly dim week for the Suns.
Quote of the Week
“It’s on us. We’ve got to take some pride in playing defense, especially when someone is trying to come at us. It starts with me. I set the tone. I’ve got to do a better job.” - Eric Bledsoe after the Denver loss.
Marquese Chriss - 14.9 MPG, 5.6 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 0.6 APG, 0.4 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Dragan Bender - 9.6 MPG, 3.2 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 0.4 APG, 0.3 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Tyler Ulis - 11.5 MPG, 4.1 PPG, 1.0 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.1 BPG
Derrick Jones - 2.7 MPG, 0.0 PPG, RPG, APG, SPG and BPG
All stats courtesy of Real GM.
News & Notes
Here’s a great Arizona Sports story by Bright Side’s own Kellan Olson on Big Sauce's 15 pt/15 reb game against the Pacers.
Earl Watson stresses defense in intense practice after Denver loss.
There's a very cool story about Alan Williams and his mother in the NY times.
Dragan Bender will ultimately play at power forward or center. Arizona Sports
A must read story on Tyson Chandler, his mother's recent passing and his return to the team by Paul Coro.
Steve Kerr sees similarities between young Suns and Warriors.
Can Devin Booker become an actual star? CBS Sports
Dragan Bender will earn his minute through defense. - Paul Coro/azcentral Sports
Yet another glowing story about Devin Booker... this time by the Washington Post.
Paul Coro on T.J. Warren's improving defense.
Wild & Crazy Trade Rumors
Here is one that I found in the past week. It is supplied simply for the sake of entertainment, not news. I find these wild rumors humorous. I hope you do too.
This one seems very crazy to me. The Suns send Eric Bledsoe to the Bucks and Dragan Bender to the Heat. The Bucks send Greg Monroe to the Heat and Jabari Parker and Rashad Vaughn to the Suns. The Heat send Hassan Whiteside to the Bucks. To me this makes almost no sense for the Heat, little sense for the Suns while the Bucks win the trade hands down.
The next link is to a very good - and real - SB Nation article about how and where all the crazy trade rumors start and spread. Technically it's not about the Suns but it does use a Brandon Knight "rumor" as an example.
Previewing the Week Ahead
Monday, November 21st @ Washington Wizards (3-9)
Wednesday, November 23rd @ Orlando Magic (6-7)
Friday, November 25th vs Minnesota Timberwolves (4-7)
Sunday, November 27th vs Denver Nuggets (4-8)
The first game this brings the Suns to DC to face the Washington Wizards. The Wizards are off to a very bad start this season too with some players already missing games due to injury. I believe that the Suns can win this one. Whether they do it or not is another story.
On the last stop of their six game road trip, the Suns face the Orlando Magic. At this point, Orlando is on a two game win streak and the Suns have thrown away games the they should have been able to win... so I predict a win in Orlando. It doesn't make sense that the Suns should win this game which is why I'm predicting that they will win it.
The Suns then head home to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves. I just think that they will lose this game. Too much young talent on the Minnesota team for the inconsistent Suns to overcome.
After a day off, the Suns get a chance to even the score with the Denver Nuggets at home. I don't think that they will even though I think that they will play a more competitive game at home than they did in Denver.
I'm saying that the Suns will go 1-3 this week.
How do you think the Suns will fare?