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Aftermath: The Silver Linings Playbook

Finding the positives in the Suns’ sixth loss in seven games.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Phoenix Suns Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns lost again last night - their sixth in the last seven games. To the annoying Lakers. Ugh.

Let’s focus on positive takeaways.

Breathing fire

Dragan Bender, still one of the youngest players in the league at just 19 years old, is showing more and more flashes on the offensive end.

Bender had a career high 15 points against the Lakers.

And then there’s this.

But his major claim to playing time right now is his defense.

“He’s really very good defensively,” coach Jay Triano said of Bender. “He’s got a lot of different dimensions to his game and I think his ability to contain guys when we switch is probably one of his strengths.”

Devin Cooker

I saw this in the comment thread the other day and I like it. “Devin Cooker” was hot again last night, with his sixth 30-point game in his last 10 outings. Only Kristaps Porzingis (8) and Giannis Antetokuompo (7) have more 30-point games this season than Devin Booker.

The Suns are 2-4 in Booker’s 30-point games this season, but NO HE IS NOT A GARBAGE TIME SCORER.

  • 10/28 - 34 points vs Portland: +5 in Booker’s 34 minutes on the court. -12 in his 14 minutes off the court.
  • 10/31 - 32 points vs Brooklyn: +3 in Booker’s 35 minutes on the court. +5 in his 13 minutes off the court.
  • 11/3 - 34 points vs New York: -2 in Booker’s 33 minutes on the court. -11 in his 15 minutes off the court.
  • 11/8 - 30 points vs Miami: -10 in Booker’s 37 minutes on the court. -1 in his 11 minutes off the court.
  • 11/11 - 35 points vs Minnesota: +16 in Booker’s 38 minutes on the court. -8 in his 10 minutes off the court.
  • 11/13 - 36 points vs Los Angeles: +0 in Booker’s 37 minutes on the court. -7 in his 11 minutes off the court.

In four of the six games, the Suns were better with Booker on the court than off the court. And let’s remember, he’s not exactly playing with a good team around him.

Here’s the highlight reel.

He’s pretty good.

“Cookin Buckets”?

We need to come up with a nickname for the pairing of Booker and T.J. Warren. Warren posted his eighth 20-point game last night, including 4 in his last 5 outings.

Why a nickname? Because we’re clever. And we like nicknames. And they are the only two real scorers in the Suns’ entire rotation. And... well, because.

Let’s hear it! What are your ideas?

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