I’ve put as much effort in this recap as the Suns put into this game.
How in the WORLD can these Suns play with so little effort in front of their home fans?
They’ve been home a WEEK. They can’t be tired.
They just won in thrilling fashion on Sunday. They can’t be “beaten down” like teams get in March.
They are playing a relatively bad team in the Nets. They can’t blame “good team got us”.
The home crowd booed the home team. They booed the home team all the way to the final play. Good on you, home fans!!
And the Suns deserved worse treatment than that.
First few possessions, the Suns came out timid with late-clock jumpers (badly missed) and passive defense.
Devin Booker used an Ayton pick to step into a three on their third possession, but then the Suns got sloppy again and it wasn’t even the Nets forcing them into indecision.
Jarrett Allen used his hustle to create an Ayton foul and get some early boards, and on the other end Allen completely backed off Ayton to allow jumpers Ayton missed more than connected.
After six sloppy minutes on both sides it was still an 8-8 tie. Both teams could take credit for their D but then would also blame their own O.
The Suns had an 18-17 lead with 2:28 left in the quarter. Neither team could pull away from the other. Suns are shooting 40% while the Nets are at 36%. That won’t last (for the Nets).
The end of the quarter had a bit more scoring (yay) but no better execution for either team. T.J. Warren couldn’t buy a bucket (0-3) and the team only had two assists in the whole quarter.
Brooklyn up 24-22 after one quarter.
I have nothing to say about the second quarter. The Suns didn’t even try. Outscored 30-20 but it was ONLY 30 for the Nets because they didn’t make enough open shots to get 45 or 50.
Suns down 10 at half. 52-42 Nets.
Let’s hope the Suns try to care in the second half.
Unfortunately, the Suns showed about as much effort to start the second half as I am in typing the recap.
Then Deandre Ayton finally woke up after being punked most of the game. He ran hard, made tough shots in the paint, and suddenly the Suns were awake.
Timeout disgusted opposing coach, but this time it’s because the Suns cut a 15-point deficit to five, at 63-58, with 5:31 left in the third.
But then the Suns allowed a 7-2 run on Nets’ hustle.
And then the Suns died again. Went back into their hole. Trevor Ariza failed to hustle on that 7-2 run and was taken out by Igor. You could tell he was taken out because during the ensuing timeout Ariza stood as far away from the huddle as possible. He was five feet back of the huddle, talking to no one, hands on hips.
Nets lead got back to 14 in the blink of several eyes. Eyes of disbelief that is, at how bad the Suns could play.
Bottom line: Nets played smart D
The Nets defense was smart, if not very good, in this game.
On Booker, they put their best wing defenders and longest arms on him from mid-court to rim — mostly Caris LeVert but also Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Spencer Dinwiddie.
On Ayton, they dropped back into the paint on his high post catches, leaving him 10 feet open for jumpers while cutting off his passing lanes on cutters. Ayton froze, made bad passes and bricked jumpers. It was so bad the crowd couldn’t handle it.
Around the horn, no one else stepped up to make shots to keep defenses from collapsing on Ayton and Booker. T.J. Warren was back but missed his three first-half shots and then didn’t even look to take any when he came back in the second.
The Suns didn’t run high pick and roll with Booker and Ayton, forcing the action, till mid-third, but it was over almost as quickly as it began. Not sure why, but poof there it went.
For the Suns, Richaun Holmes played as well as he could as the backup center. He had a double-double with several shot contests that ended in misses plus a pair of clean blocks too. He contested everything at the rim.
Holmes on the night:
Devin Booker had a bad shooting night but he did everything he could to keep the Suns in the game.
The Suns bench got killed in this game, even with Holmes playing super hard.
Not sure if T.J. Warren (didn’t look healthy) or Josh Jackson could have played any worse than they did. Jackson is in a deep deep funk, and it has nothing to do with health.
Ayton and Booker had the best