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Center of the Sun: Phoenix Suns end preseason with 2-3 record

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The games that really count start this week & today the Fantable discusses Josh Jackson

NBA: Preseason-Portland Trail Blazers at Phoenix Suns Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the weekly news roundup of your Phoenix Suns.

Game Recaps

vs Utah Jazz L (120-102) Full Recap

vs Portand Trail Blazers L (113-104) Full Recap

vs Brisbane Bullets W (114-93) Full Recap


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Fantable Question of the Week

The Suns have only played a handful of preseason games but Josh Jackson has been very impressive to me. I'm beginning to believe that he might turn out to be the "star" that the Suns will need to build around in the future instead of Devin Booker. Of course, it's still way too early to be certain of something like that but what are your thoughts on this possibility?

GuarGuar: I love what I have seen out of Josh Jackson so far. His intensity and motor is something this team desperately needed. I thought it would take longer for him to adjust to NBA competition before having an impact but that doesn't seem to be the case! His jumper has even been functional this preseason.

What has really surprised me which I didn't notice from his college tape was his handle. It is definitely more advanced than I thought. Because of this, he is able to create good looks for himself with relative ease. Watching JJ in transition is a thing of beauty.

Give him time to develop and I think he could possible become a Jimmy Butler type at the small forward position. His aggressiveness is off the charts and I can't wait to watch him this season!

Sun-Arc: Really funny that you posed the question that way. I’ve been pondering the same thing (without a clear answer). He’s certainly stronger on the defensive side, which gives him a lot of value to the team already. What has struck me so far is:

1. How strong his fundamental footwork is, similar to Booker. He has a clean jab-step back move to get open. And when he does that move his release is higher than Book’s.

2. His quick first step is at least as quick as Devin’s. But he’s more athletic and longer, so his ability to catch defenses off guard is a bit better. He gets to the rim in a hurry. Booker has also shown he’s more athletic than people often give him credit for - but JJ has the edge.

3. His shooting stroke looks more developed than the scouting reports indicated. There was that data that showed his jumper and shooting improved as his college season went on. Many thought that was possibly a mirage. But his shooting thus far has been pretty damn good. And he’s hitting from everywhere.

NBA and ESPN have been pretty high on him. He is impressing people already. Honestly, I’ve only been able to watch one game and see highlights and box scores from the others. So- part of my enthusiasm is muted because I need to see more to know. Plus its too early to tell. But that there is a buzz is nice to see. Could bode well for a ROY bid.

4. His attitude has been phenomenal. He’s saying the right things. He knows he has to get better. And he seems to want to lead. He did this in Summer League, but to see him being so aggressive against NBA players and having success is really heartening.

5. His energy. Holy cow, what a motor. So far I’m not seeing that be as infectious as I’d like. Maybe in the regular season when Booker and Bled pick it up others will too. But the guy is all over the place. He wants to be a part of every play on both sides, which is great.

Seems he could be a true two-way star in the making. I truly hope so. We need it. Better than Booker? That remains to be seen. But I think its possible.

SDKyle: I believe strongly in this possibility. Even as a fan who argued for Jackson as our top draft target when many others preferred De’Aaron Fox, Jonathan Isaac, or Frank Ntilikina, his aggressiveness and the development of his offensive game have pleasantly surprised me.

I still think Booker is capable of being our centerpiece star, of course, but in some ways Jackson makes more sense. He's got more athleticism and size than Booker, and unlike Booker has the potential to be a leader on the defensive end as well.

That said, the possibility that most excites me is that they become equal forces to be reckoned with.

SouthernSun: I believe that Devin Booker is still the star the Suns will build around, but I'm becoming more and more convinced that Josh Jackson will be his very close 2nd. Kind of a 1a/1b situation.

Jackson can do so many things so well, and you'll never see a player with more energy. He does the little things necessary to be a winner. He is always going 100%. Whether it's on defense or offense, whether he has the ball or not. I don't think there is a player on this roster who moves around as much off the ball as Jackson does.

There was a lot of talk of Jackson's jump shot. I heard on more than one occasion that the thing keeping Jackson from being the #1 pick in this draft was his jumper. Apparently all the worry was unfounded, because the jumper seems to be pretty effective. We will have to wait and see how it looks in the regular season, but so far the best description for it is "weird looking, but effective." Josh himself says he doesn't like how he was labeled as being a poor shooter, referencing his 38% from 3 in college. It looks like he was right in being a little perturbed at that label.

This guy is what a #4 overall pick is supposed to be. I think he will be a perennial all star, and a cornerstone beside Booker for a long time.

As always, many thanks to our Fantable... GuarGuar, Sun-Arc, SDKyle and SouthernSun!


Key Stats

20.0 fast break points & 7.4 blocks per game

That's what the Suns averaged during the preseason which was #1 for each category in the team rankings.

37.9% three point percentage

This is the three point percentage for the entire team for the preseason. Hopefully this level of three point accuracy carries over into the regular season. The Suns finished 9th in the preseason team rankings.

Random Stats: Alex Len finished the preseason ranked #1 in blocks per game with 2.6. Devin Booker ranked 5th in points per game with 19.8.

All statistics courtesy of NBA.com & ESPN.


2017 Preseason Highlights

Phoenix Suns vs Utah Jazz Highlights | Oct-09-17 | 2017 NBA Pre-Season

Portland Trail Blazers vs Phoenix Suns - Highlights | October 11, 2017 | 2017 NBA Preseason

GAME RECAP: Suns 114, Bullets 93 | NBA | 13 October 2017


Quote of the Week

"We have two starters. That’s Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker. Everything else is up for grabs, even playing time. You can’t feel entitled, especially on a team that’s so young." - Earl Watson after the home loss to the Utah Jazz


Rookie Report - Preseason wrap-up

Josh Jackson - 30 mpg, 14.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.8 bpg, 4.8 TO, 3.2 PF

Mike James - 16 mpg, 11.0 ppg, 1.75 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.25 spg, 0.25 bpg, 1.0 TO, 0.25 PF (1 DNP)

Alec Peters - 6 mpg, 2.3.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.0 spg, 0.0 bpg, 0.3 TO, 1.0 PF (1 DNP)

Davon Reed - DNP (Injured)

All statistics courtesy of NBA.com & ESPN.


News & Notes

Best Case, Worst Case: Phoenix Suns. The Ringer

Bickley: Suns need to show progress for Phoenix fans to stick with 'The Timeline'. Dan Bickley/AZCentral Sports

Phoenix Suns soon must consider rich extension for Devin Booker. Scott Borbow/AZCentral Sports

Why you should watch the Suns in 2017-18. Fanrag Sports

Troy Daniels playing by the rules set by Phoenix Suns. Arizona Sports

Suns' Josh Jackson aims to maintain aggressiveness, cut down on turnovers. Scott Borbow/AZCentral Sports

Phoenix Suns admit they were bullied by Jazz in 18-point loss. Scott Borbow/AZCentral Sports

BDL's 2017-18 Season Previews: Phoenix Suns, hoping youth will be served. Yahoo! Sports


This Week in Suns History

On October 18th, 1968 Dick Van Arsdale scored the Suns very first basket at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum as the Suns beat the Seattle Supersonics 116-107. The Suns got off to a very good start in their first season winning four of their first seven games but that fast start didn't last. They won only 12 games the rest of the season and finished with a league worst record of 16-66.

On October 22, 1976 twin brothers Tom and Dick Van Arsdale played together in a game for the Phoenix Suns, becoming the first pair of twins to play for the same NBA club. The Suns ended up losing the game 111-98 to the New Orleans Jazz.


Suns Trivia

Test your Phoenix Suns Trivia knowledge with this 10 question quiz.

BTW, I didn’t create the quiz so don’t blame me for the Morrii pic!


Previewing the Week Ahead

October 18 - Home Opener! Phoenix Suns vs Portland Trail Blazers, 7:00 pm AZ time

October 20 - Phoenix Suns vs LA Lakers, 7:00 pm AZ time

October 21 - Phoenix Suns @ LA Clippers, 7:30 pm AZ time

With the way the Suns played against the Trail Blazers in their two preseason games I'm sure most fans are predicting that the Suns start out the regular season with a loss against them. Well, even though my head tells me a loss is likely in this game, my gut tells me that the Suns will surprise us with a win in their home opener. Hopefully that gut feeling isn't due to a bad tuna salad sandwich I had earlier today. (Believe it or not, I actually wrote this before hearing that Portland’s C.J. McCollum had been suspended one game for leaving the bench.)

Against the Lakers, I'm also predicting a win. And it's not my gut predicting this one. The Lakers and Suns are in pretty much the same boat this season and I just don't see the Suns losing against them at home.

After the Lakers game, the Suns fly to LA to take on the Clippers the following day. The Clips are just too good and on the second night of a back-to-back I don't think that the Suns will be much of a challenge for the Clippers so this one will wind up as a loss for the Suns.

Call me crazy if you wish but I'm predicting that the Suns go 2-1 this week.


Last Week's Poll Results

The question was, "What do you think of the NBA's changes to the All-Star game?" The results were:

29% - I like them.

44% - It really doesn't matter to me.

27% - I dislike them and prefer the old East vs West format.

There were a total of 135 votes cast.


This week's poll is about Josh Jackson.

Poll

During the preseason games Josh Jackson...

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    ... met my expectations.
    (70 votes)
  • 66%
    ... exceeded my expectations.
    (149 votes)
  • 2%
    ... fell short of my expectations.
    (6 votes)
225 votes total Vote Now