The All-Star Break is a great time to rest the legs, get the mind right and come back fighting for a great second half finish. Young guys are mentally worn out, needing a few days to decompress and regain their focus and resolve. The All-Star break gives them nine days to do just that.
But then there’s the Suns, who found themselves down 29-5 — yes thats TWENTY NINE TO FIVE — before even efforting.
Need I say more?
The Suns are bad. They should be renamed the Phoenix Generals. Y’all know why.
Shall I keep going?
Fine. You asked for it.
On the bright side, the Suns built on their commanding league lead in forcing the opposing coach into a disgusted timeout when his team’s lead gets under 20 points.
Josh Jackson, T.J. Warren and Devin Booker scored points. Jackson (19 and 7 before fouling out), Warren (26/8) and Booker (27/4) all did well. Alex Len had 14/12. Troy Daniels had 17 points.
On the dark side, the Suns’ pair of top 8 picks from the 2016 Draft combined for 3 points on 10 shots in 43 minutes of play.
Also on the dark side, the Suns cruelly dragged out the ending by playing Hack-a-Dre in an attempt to cut the lead to single digits. It failed.
For the Clippers, Tobias Harris finished with 30 points (on 15 shots) and 12 rebounds, while Lou Williams drained 35 points (on 20 shots) while dishing 4 assists. G-leaguer Tyrone Wallace had 15 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.
Suns: Dragan Bender gets the start next to Alex Len, with T.J. Warren, Devin Booker and Elfrid Payton rounding out the lineup.
Clippers: Austin Rivers, Tyrone Wallace (G-league callup), Tobias Harris, Wesley Johnson and DeAndre Jordan
Suns: Tyson Chandler and the usual long-lasting injured
Clippers: Patrick Beverley and Avery Johnson both out
Bets here on media row: Suns lose by 24 (me); Suns lose by 16; Suns lose by 9.
The half starts out bad with the Suns getting no good shots on their first two possessions and missed a layup on another, while the Clippers got four straight open shots.
Clippers up 15-0. Booker hasn’t taken a shot. And the Suns haven’t even tried to get him the ball.
Finally, Booker takes a shot. It’s short. Ball bounces between Payton and Booker, picked up by Clipper. Pass forward. Open layup.
Clippers up 17-0.
Triano calls timeout with his team down 17-0. Haven’t even come close to a score. No intensity, no pride. After the whole All-Star break to rest.And only takes out TWO guys. Should have taken out all 5.
Team finally scores (Josh Jackson layup) to make it 19-2 and the crowd mock-cheered LIKE CRAZY just for seeing a score.
Clippers 24-2. Still no real effort on part of Suns, except maybe for Jackson. Everyone else? Nothing.
Then it was 29-5 and Triano finally takes out more guys.
Now it’s Jackson, Troy Daniels, Shaquille Harrison, Jared Dudley, Marquese Chriss. At least THIS lineup has an excuse for being completely awful.
Tobias Harris had 16 of the Clippers first 35 points - 5-5 from the field, including a pair of threes. Plus 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
After one: Clippers up 40-18. Twice more, the Suns flubbed making a layup before the quarter ran out. Unbelievable.
Suns on defense is worse than the Suns on offense. And that’s really really bad.
It didn’t get better in the second quarter. I think even the uber-middling Clippers have lost interest.
The Clippers got up 70-43 with almost three minutes to go in the first half. And really the game was worse than that.
Clippers: 10 of 16 on threes (62.5%). 24-40 overall (60%).
Lou Williams with 25 first half points. 9 of 14 field goals.
Suns starting lineup was 1-12 in the first quarter. One. for. 12.
Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss - #4 and #8 picks a year ago - are a combined 1-7 in this game. And they look worse than that.
Halftime: Clippers 79. Suns 50.
The Suns kicked off the second half with a 6-0 run and stretched that to 16-6 before the Clippers called their second disgusted timeout of the game to right the ship. It appears the players used halftime to confirm dinner reservations after the game.
Suns got the lead down to 17 a couple of times in the third quarter and that felt like an accomplishment.
End of three: Clippers 95, Suns 78.
Suns outscored their opponent 28-16 in that quarter. WIN!
Maybe I should stop right here.