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Center of the Sun: Phoenix Suns dropping to 8-19 isn’t as bad as it looks

Welcome to the weekly news roundup of your Phoenix Suns.

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San Antonio Spurs v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Rest in peace Craig Sager.

Game Recaps

vs New York Knicks - W/OT (113-111) Full Recap

vs San Antonio Spurs - L (107-92) Full Recap

@ Oklahoma City Thunder - L (114-101) Full Recap

I almost hate to say it but going 1-3 against the Knicks, Spurs and Thunder - and finally getting T.J. Warren back on the court - was a pretty good week for this team.

Phoenix is now 8-19 for the season which gives them the 5th worst record in the NBA. That's good news for the fans hoping to get a top 5 pick in this years draft but it stinks for everyone else who wants to see some wins. Curiously though, the Suns are still only 4 games behind the 8th place Portland Trail Blazers (13-16) who have gone 4-6 in their last 10 games. So with 55 games left to go in the season there's still plenty of time for the Suns to screw up the dreams of all those fans that want to keep losing and get a really high draft pick. I'd say it's extremely unlikely but if Warren starts playing like he did at the beginning of the season again, Booker has more nights like he did against OKC (31 pts, 50% FG shooting and 60% on threes)... and basically everyone starts having their good games more often, who knows.

Key Stat

28.7 mpg, 10.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1 bpg, 0.7 spg, 1.7 TO, 2.7 PF, .444 3pt%

Those are Marquese Chriss' averages for the three games this past week. These aren't earth shattering numbers but Earl Watson seems to be finally trusting the rookie with more minutes and he handled the extra responsibility well. Before this week Chriss was averaging only 15.6 minutes per game and often getting into foul trouble early. He's still a little foul prone but he's coming along.

Stats courtesy of ESPN.com.

Quote of the Week

"If PJ Tucker doesn't make an All-Defensive team this year then something is Wrong!! Every writer go watch our last 2 games." - Jared Dudley tweeted following the Knicks game

Rookie Watch

Marquese Chriss - 17.1 mpg, 6.9ppg, 3.4 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.5 bpg

Dragan Bender - 11.1 mpg, 2.7 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.2 spg, 0.4 bpg

Tyler Ulis - 9.6 mpg, 3.4 ppg, 0.6 rpg, 1.7 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.1 bpg

Derrick Jones Jr. - 2.8 mpg, 1.5 ppg

All stats courtesy of Real GM.

NAZ Notes

Tyler Ulis and Alan Williams got their first playing time with the NAZ Suns on Wednesday night against the Santa Cruz Warriors. Ulis had 13 points, nine assists and three steals in 36 minutes. Williams posted a team-high 20 points to go with nine rebounds in 27 minutes.

News & Notes

Kellan Olson of BSotS and Arizona Sports talks about Eric Bledsoe and if the Suns should trade him.

Still thinking about potential trades? Hoops Habit discusses the Suns best trade assets.

Bright Side's Dave King explains what the new CBA means for the Suns.

Devin Booker has achieved a lot in his first 100 games.

Jeff Hornacek speaks openly about his firing by the Suns on his first return as Knicks head coach. Paul Coro/AzCentral

Earl Watson sets the bar high regarding Marquese Chriss' future as a defender. Paul Coro/AzCentral

An interesting SB Nation article comparing Mike D'Antoni's Rockets to Mike D'Antoni's Suns.

The Suns give back to the community by rebuilding a playground.

Suns Trivia

The Suns have already gone to OT five times through their first 25 games, their most OT games at this point in the season in franchise history and tied for third-most through 25 games in NBA history. Only the 2013-14 Washington Wizards and 2004-05 Los Angeles Clippers (six each) played in more OT games in a season’s first 25 games. The Suns’ franchise record for most OT games in an entire season is nine by the 2010-11 team (Basketball-Reference).

Previewing the Week Ahead

Monday, December 19th @ Minnesota Timberwolves (7-19)

Wednesday, December 21st vs Houston Rockets (21-7)

Friday, December 23rd vs Philadelphia 76ers (6-20)

Another three game week and this one at least looks easier than the last one.

On Monday the Suns head to Minnesota to face the Timberwolves. The Suns have already lost to Minnesota once at home but both teams have a habit finding a way to lose. Just last night the Timberwolves were up by 13 points on Houston going into the 4th quarter, then let the Rockets come back and win by 2 in OT. I think this one is a toss-up and the win will go to whichever team makes the least mistakes.

On Wednesday the Suns take on the rockets at home and this one could get ugly. Former Suns head coach Mike D'Antoni has gotten Houston rolling on offense. James Harden is averaging a near triple-double and only the Warriors are averaging more points scored per game as a team. I think that we should probably go ahead and put this one in the loss column.

Finally the Sixers come to Phoenix on Friday and I think that the Suns have a good shot at winning this game. Yeah, the Sixers blew out the Suns in their first meeting in Philly a month ago but I think that the Suns will even the score in Phoenix.

I Think that the Suns should wind up either 1-2 or 2-1 (if they're lucky) this week.

How do you think the Suns will fare?