What happened Wednesday night against the Spurs was not helpful at all to any sort of development. San Antonio opened it up to an 11-0 lead halfway through the first quarter and never looked back from there. They set it on cruise control once this game reached above 40.
Yes, that happened again for the Suns this season.
But, wait, it at one point reached 50. I repeat, the Spurs led 100-50 near the beginning of the fourth quarter. That’s embarrassing.
I tried to find some positives in this beatdown by Greg Popovich’s Spurs squad, but they were far and few in between. A lot of red flags continue to wave in these types of performances for the Suns.
Bad: The Suns have become a team that is blown out nearly every single night. After trailing by as many as 38 in the first half alone, this is the sixth time in their last seven games where they have trailed by 20 or more. That’s rather pathetic, and it shows that Phoenix is on a collision course toward possibly having the most lottery balls in play on May 15. At this point, these types of losses piling up I feel are doing more harm than good with this young core.
Good: Dragan Bender at least was looking aggressive again! Bender in the first half had 7 points and 6 rebounds on 6 shot attempts. Without Devin Booker in the lineup due to a hip pointer, 2016’s No. 4 overall pick is seemingly getting more comfortable by the game offensively.
Bad: Slow starts are plaguing the Suns, as has been the theme all season. San Antonio built up the lead to 11-0 in the first 5.5 minutes and never looked back. At the end of the first, they led 28-9 and at one point it was 42-15. Yikes.
Good: Danuel House Jr. provided a spark in his minutes out there tonight. He continues to impress in his limited time, and his two-way contract is about to expire as far as his 45 days with the Suns go.
Bad: After Tyler Ulis left in the first half with back spasms, it forced their point guard rotation into Josh Gray as a starter alongside Jackson as the backup. With Jackson now seeing minutes at the point, make that seven different names patrolling the offense in 56 games. Who knows, maybe we see Point Bender reinvigorated at some point later on like we saw in Summer League? Nowadays, nothing will surprise me with the Suns’ point guard situation.
Bad: Phoenix was abysmal shooting the ball tonight. They hovered between 20-30% for most of the contest, while San Antonio was clearing +50%. This should not come as a surprise, though, because they rank as the worst shooting team in many advanced stats categories. It’s hard to win a lot of games, let alone keep them competitive when your team ranks near the bottom of all shooting and turnover departments.
After tonight’s loss, Phoenix is tied alongside Orlando and Sacramento for third in the lottery standings. Only a 0.5 game separates the bottom five teams in the league.
The 50th season of Suns basketball has taken such a downward spiral and the disturbing trend of non-competitive games will continue to rear its ugly head.