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Center of the Sun: Another bad week for the Phoenix Suns

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Welcome to the weekly news roundup of your Phoenix Suns.

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NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Phoenix Suns Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

The Suns were 1-3 for the week and are now 7-17 for the season. Even though they suffered a loss on Bright Side Night, they gave over 1,000 kids a great show in a 120-119 overtime game.

Game Recaps

@ Utah Jazz - L (112-105) Full Recap

vs Indiana Pacers - L (109-94) Full Recap

@ Los Angles Lakers - W (119-115) Full Recap

vs New Orleans Pelicans - L (120-119) Full Recap

T.J. Warren... we need you back on the court! Losing someone as important as TJ is bad for the team at any time but I really think that he could have made the difference between a win and a loss in a few of the games that he's missed. The Suns have played hard and Eric Bledsoe has stepped up big time in several games but Warren has definitely been missed. With the schedule getting more difficult the Suns will need him even more.

Key Stat

0.9 technical fouls per game

That is what the Suns are averaging so far this season and that puts them in dead last in the NBA in this category. Some people have voiced concern about the number of techs that Devin Booker has gotten this season but Alex Len and Marquese Chriss are both tied with him with four techs each so far. This puts the three of them in an eight way tie for eighth in technical fouls earned this season. This is a trend that needs to end because teams as well as players can get a reputation for techs with the NBA refs and they will be quicker to call them against those teams and/or players.

Stats courtesy of Team Rankings.com and ESPN.com.

Quote of the Week

“We definitely need T.J. (Warren) back. We’ve been thin on the wing the last few weeks. He’ll give us some new life. “Our team definitely misses his aggression. He’s so aggressive on offense. A lot of people benefit from him pushing the ball and getting easy buckets.” - P.J. Tucker

Rookie Watch

Marquese Chriss - 15.6 MPG, 6.4 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Dragan Bender - 11.3 MPG, 2.8 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.3 APG, 0.2 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Tyler Ulis - 10.3 MPG, 3.4 PPG, 0.6 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.1 BPG

All stats courtesy of Real GM.

News & Notes

T.J. Warren not yet cleared to play although he is back practicing with the team. Paul Coro/AzCentral

Devin Booker is learning what life in the NBA is like when you are a number one option on your team. Kellan Olson/Arizona Sports

Zach Lowe's Q&A with Earl Watson.

Hoops Habit gives the Suns first quarter grades.

Dragan Bender gets his NBA education. Paul Coro/AzCentral

Marquese Chriss gets more than a kick from Draymon Green. Paul Coro/AzCentral

Suns Trivia

Eric Bledsoe is one of five NBA players averaging at least 19 points, five rebounds and five assists (the others are James Harden, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kyle Lowry). The last qualified Suns player to average at least 19/5/5 in a season was Charles Barkley in his NBA MVP season of 1992-93. There have been only three other instances of a Sun doing so: Jeff Hornacek in 1991-92, Alvan Adams in 1975-76 and Gail Goodrich in 1968-69 (each of these three was the player’s first All-Star season).

Previewing the Week Ahead

Three games this week and not an easy one in the bunch.

Tuesday, December 13th vs New York Knicks (14-10)

Thursday, December 15th vs San Antonio Spurs (19-5)

Saturday, December 17h @ Oklahoma City Thunder (15-9)

On Tuesday the Knicks come to Phoenix. The Knicks are off to a good start this year and I think that the Suns have to control the pace of this game to have a chance to win. I give them at best a 50-50 chance in this one.

After a day off the Spurs come to town. As much as I would love to see a Suns win against the Spurs, I think that I have about as much of a chance of winning the lottery as the Suns do to win this game. I've got to call this one as another loss for the Suns.

Finally the Suns head to OKC for a rematch with the Thunder. If it was a home game I might give the Suns a shot but not in OKC. Another loss for the Suns in this one.

I have a bad feeling about this week and expect that the Suns will go 0-3 with a slim chance of going 1-2. But if T.J. Warren returns to the court this week... ???

How do you think the Suns will fare?