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Recap: Phoenix Suns fall to the Washington Wizards 131-127 in an epic game of runs

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This one was not for the defensive-minded.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Some assorted thoughts from tonight’s game:

  • The first quarter was rough from an execution and pace standpoint. Eric Bledsoe was not in rhythm, putting the offense in disarray with seven turnovers as the result. Those turnovers served as a springboard for easy buckets in transition for Washington, providing a head start for John Wall that is borderline unfair.
  • Speaking of Wall, the impact he has on the nuance of the game is so elite. He is always in control of the pace, and plays his game with a specialized poise that dictates everything the Wizards do on offense. There are times where Wall will uncork a laser across the court to an open shooter in the corner, but his deadliest attribute is the way he manipulates the pick-and-roll. Fun to watch a technician at work. If only he could shoot.
  • Washington poured in a flurry of free throws in the first half (25 in fact), initially giving the Suns a deep hole to lift themselves out of. Marquese Chriss shows flashes on being the rim protector we all want him to be, but until he controls his hacking on a consistent basis (fouled out tonight), those flashes won’t crescendo into anything more. Poor Alan Williams pours his heart out on every possession, yet asking him to be a rim protector for extended minutes is a hard bargain as he too resorts to hacking when he is beaten.
  • Jared “Daddy” Dudley ignited fireworks with Brandon Jennings early in the first half, leading to a rare ejection. I think it’s safe to say that his street cred is on the upswing.
  • Watching Big Sauce run the pick-and-roll is a top ten life experience for me right now. The man is a misfit, yet gobbles up double doubles like it’s nothing. He looks like my dad playing ask ten-year-old me in pool basketball with the way he positions his body. It’s beautiful.
  • Bledsoe eventually got his bearings and played the kind of all-around game that we have come to expect from him. It’s easy to take his talents for granted given the army of talented point guards throughout the league — it’s on us to shout his prowess loud to garner national attention.
  • There was a two-minute period in the third quarter where Derrick Jones Jr. thought he could block every shot the Wizards threw at the basket ... and he almost did just that. The more you watch Jones Jr. play, the more you can decipher what his floor as a player will be. His length and athleticism are both coveted and envied, and if he can develop a consistent corner three, there is a prototypical wing within our midst.
  • Jason Smith is, has been, and always will be the worst.
  • I know it isn’t in vogue to root for your team to win anymore when there are lottery balls on the line, but I hope we don’t lose perspective on what it means to be a fan. Winning is supposed to be the end game for a franchise, and this group of young guns has been a treat to watch thus far. If they win more games than they are supposed to and change our pick from #2 to #5, then that’s okay. It’s easy to look ahead to what’s next as fans, but don’t forget to enjoy what’s in front of you along the way.
  • Weird game:
  • Here is a box score for those that are interested.