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Aftermath: Coach, players talk about Suns lack of energy in ugly preseason loss to Jazz

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NBA: Preseason-Utah Jazz at Phoenix Suns Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

After the Phoenix Suns coaches and players had a few minutes to digest their ugly, lethargic loss to the Jazz at home on Monday night, no one sugarcoated the game when it came time to meet with the media.

Coach Earl Watson talked about the need for on-court aggression with the media, then backup guard Mike James said these kinds of game can happen with so many young players. Devin Booker made no excuses, saying that a team with so much youth should never lose the battle of effort.

Coach Watson

One quote: “I would say what they (the Jazz) did was be more aggressive on ball reversals. Our pace wasn’t there. With younger teams it’s going to be physical, so we have to realize in order to get the ball reversed, we have to physical, open up, push off and get the ball, and get into our offense. They took us out our offense immediately.”

Mike James

James had 12 points, 2 assists and a pair of steals in mop-up duty for the last quarter and a half.

One quote: “Mental mistakes. I think since we’re so young when we get down, we try to play hero ball instead of getting into our stuff. I think in Utah, we got more into our stuff and played better and tonight, I think we just played a little bit of hero ball. That might be normal for a young team and I think we just have to work on it.”

Devin Booker

Booker started very quietly. He had 0 points on only 2 shots after one quarter, getting blanketed by the Jazz defense (mostly Rodney Hood). By the time he sat for the night, he’d compiled a respectable 19 points on 12 shots, but the Suns were already down almost 30 points to the Jazz before Booker got himself going.

One quote: “We’ve got to come in with a better attitude, better mindset, and not take the game for granted. Coach (Watson) said, ‘if you come in here and cheat on the game, the game will show you what you deserve.’ That’s what we did tonight. We didn’t have any energy.”

That’s all folks

Now the Suns are on to the next game.

Watson: “One game at a time. Tomorrow I’m looking forward to having a tough, long practice. Build some consistency in how we compete every time we touch the court. That’s common with younger teams.”