Welcome to the weekly news roundup of your Phoenix Suns.
Only eight games left of sub-par basketball for Suns fans. The games were pretty enjoyable to watch for a while... after the All-Star break and before Bledsoe was shut down. Since then the Suns have rarely had enough healthy bodies to put a 10-man rotation on the court let alone a good team. But it's all in the cause of attempting to keep a high draft pick in this year's draft.
Robert Sarver recently told season ticket holders that the Suns were shooting for contention in 2020.
I'm not holding my breath waiting for that but...
Damn! Booker's 70 point game against the Celtics was just unfreaking believable. Some of the Celtics players (and fans) seemed to take offense and directed their ire toward Booker and/or the Suns but it was obvious to me that they were just upset at being upstaged by Booker's 70 point night. They won the game. Isaiah Thomas had another great game (34 points, 7 assists) and completely outplayed Tyler Ulis (3 points, 4 assists, 2 steals) in the Suns/Celtics rematch but Devin Booker stole their thunder in the end by scoring those 70 points. Their crowd was cheering Booker at the end, not them. If the Suns had been blowing them out and were still feeding the ball to Booker to run up his point total then I would say that they had a real reason to be ticked off.
However the final draft order sorts out and whoever the Suns wind up drafting this year I just hope that they will try to win ALL season long next season. I'd love it if they could somehow make the playoffs - even as an eighth seed - but I would be satisfied to just see a 30+ win season again. They already have a lot of young talent and are going to add even more at the end of this season.
No more tanking... please!
And at present the Suns have at least a 5.5 game lead in the reverse standings over all teams behind them. They are just a half game behind the Lakers for the 2nd seed and with just eight games left I believe that they are almost a lock to finish no lower than 3rd.
Need I say more?
I think not.
Quotes of the Week
“Everybody knows I can score, so I just want to do all the other things that keep me on the floor, keep the coaches trusting me, and obviously defense and rebounding are big keys. Scoring will come. That’s what I came into the league (known) for. I know that will never go away from me.” - T.J. Warren
"It's important to support my brothers. I've been playing with them all season. Unfortunately, I can't get out there with them but I can give them advice." - Eric Bledsoe
"Give these young boys a few years.. trust the W's will come." - Tyson Chandler
Marquese Chriss - 30.2 mpg, 15.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 0.5 apg, 1.3 spg, 0.3 bpg
Tyler Ulis - 40.7 mpg, 9.5 ppg, 7.8 apg, 3.5 rpg, 1.5 spg, 3.0 TOpg
Derrick Jones Jr. - 22.9 mpg, 4.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 0.3 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.0 bpg
Dragan Bender - OUT INDEFINITELY
This was good to see though.
Suns rookie Dragan Bender (foot surgery) getting up shots today. pic.twitter.com/r04wkKuqm8— Doug Haller (@DougHaller) March 26, 2017
All stats courtesy of NBA.com
1. Brooklyn Nets (16-57)
2. LA Lakers (21-52), 5.0 GB
3. Phoenix Suns (22-52), 5.5 GB
4. Orlando Magic (27-46), 11.0 GB
5. Philadelphia 76ers (27-46), 11.0 GB
6. New York Knicks (27-46), 11.0 GB
7. Sacramento Kings (28-45), 12.0 GB
8. Minnesota Timberwolves (28-44), 12.5 GB
Boston has the right to swap picks with Brooklyn this year. The Lakers' pick goes to Philadelphia if it falls out of the top 3. Philadelphia also has the right to swap picks with Sacramento this year as long as that pick falls within the top 10. If Sacramento's pick falls out of the top 10 it goes to Chicago. New Orleans' pick goes to Sacramento if it falls out of the top 3.
These numbers are courtesy of Hoops Rumors.
News & Notes
Isaiah Thomas takes issue with Phoenix Suns' late tactics. NBA.com
Tyson Chandler has found his calling as the old head for the baby Suns. Kristian Winfield/SB Nation
Suns' Derrick Jones Jr. becomes a defensive project. Doug Haller/AZCentral Sports
Could the Phoenix Suns make the Final Four? Tom Ziller/SB Nation
Is T.J. Warren the Suns' small forward of the future? Doug Haller/AZCentral Sports
Suns’ Earl Watson doesn’t see recent veteran shutdowns as tanking. Arizona Sports
Off balance: Alex Len’s future with Suns is in question. Arizona Sports
"Not only did Booker break the Suns' single-game scoring record, but according to Elias, he became the first player to score 70 points in a game without any prior 40-point games." - Isaac Chipps/ESPN
"Suns G Devin Booker on Friday became the third player in NBA history to make at least 20 field goals and 20 free throws in one game, per the Elias Sports Bureau. He joined Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan." - ESPN Stats and Information
"Twenty-eight of Devin Booker's record 70 points Friday night came in the fourth quarter. The 20-year-old is the only player in the last 20 seasons to score 28 or more fourth-quarter points in multiple games." - ESPN Stats and Information
Previewing the Week Ahead
Tuesday, March 28th @ Atlanta Hawks (37-36)
Thursday, March 30th vs LA Clippers (44-31)
Saturday, April 1st @ Portland Trailblazers (35-38)
Sunday, April 2nd vs Houston Rockets (51-22)
It looks like another ugly week ahead. The Suns finish up their 5-game Eastern road trip in Atlanta on Tuesday where the odds are very slim that they could get a win. The Hawks did lose to the Nets on Sunday but the Suns lost to them too only a few days ago so I doubt that really factors in. But if Paul Millsap and Thabo Sefolosha miss the Suns games as well then it could at least turn into a competitive game. The Hawks are also 3-7 over their last 10 games so this one is the only game that I think might be a possible win.
When the Suns return to Phoenix their first home game will be against the Clippers on Thursday. Even less hope for a win in this one... unless they decide to rest some of their top players.
Then on Saturday the Suns head back on the road for a night to play the Trailblazers in Portland. The Blazers are now tied with Denver for the eighth playoff seed and aren't likely to "rest" any of their players when the Suns come to town
And finally the Suns get the pleasure of playing the Houston Rockets at home but on the second day of a back-to-back. Thankfully that game isn't another early/daytime game although I doubt that will make much of a difference in the outcome.
I believe that the Suns will go 0-4 again this week.
How do you think the Suns will fare?