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The Madhouse: Suns winning, losing, and losing big

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The Suns have something for everyone.

Phoenix Suns v Boston Celtics Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Suns Stuff

Last week I told you that when we chatted again your Suns would be 19-25. And damn it, I should have been right.

Where did that road win over Boston come from? I mean, that was a real treat. Devin Booker was an assist shy of a triple-double and Deandre Ayton racked up at least 15 rebounds for the seventh time in his young career.

Most importantly, this Celtics team smoked Phoenix two months ago without Ayton in the lineup, reaffirming my belief that the Suns, with Deandre in the lineup, can hang with most teams in the league.

I’ll not be addressing the absence of Kemba Walker for the second game with the Suns. Thank you in advance for holding your questions.

So after the Boston game I’m thinking a split at home with San Antonio and Indiana is entirely realistic. I got over the Spurs loss pretty quick. Phoenix did a lot of good things in that game. Balanced scoring. That’s good. Dominance outside from Book. Also good. Dominance inside from Deandre. More good.

GIVING UP EIGHT THREES TO BRYN FORBES. THAT’S BAD. LOTS OF BAD THERE.

Phoenix lost its 7th one-possession game of the season. That can sting. But of all that grotesque, historic losing we did last year, do you know how many of our 63 losses were by three points or less? Five. That number was the same in 2017-18, when we lost 61.

So winning is good. Losing by less than a s***-ton also good.

The Indiana game was garbage. There’s nothing we can learn from that one other than, when pressed, we can still rediscover our old selves and lose by a s***-ton.

Only road games until we chat again. I’m going to maintain hope that we can take two out of three. So we’ll be 20-27 this time next week. I’ll say that we are going to split against San Antonio and Memphis, I’ll let you pick which one we take, and we’ll knock off Dallas. Because I would really like to beat Dallas for no reason in particular.

Ok fine, it’s a Deandre Ayton/Luka Doncic thing.

NBA Stuff

The NBA All-Star jerseys you’ll be able to pick up next week from our friends in China for eighteen American dollars have been leaked.

And we know who will be starting in that game.

Allegedly Clippers not named Paul George or Kawhi Leonard are displeased with what they view to be preferential treatment towards Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.

Once upon a time, Steph Curry wanted to play for the New York Knicks.

Believe it or not, that NBA/China beef still isn’t cleaned up. I know, I know. I too am shocked.

Of all the people who could be asked about women’s athletics, Kobe Bryant is routinely asked about women’s athletics. Here are the WNBA players he thinks could compete in the NBA.

The NBA is pumping the brakes on that schedule overhaul you’ve been hearing about.

Evidently the NBA All-Star game in Chicago means that Nike must undertake the arduous task of developing $200 shoes for your purchase. Here is what they have come up with.

TNT is making some changes to its NBA broadcasts. One change is adding Dwayne Wade to their team. Other changes include stuff like this:

“There will be regular fashion and sneaker reports, TikTok challenges, and other features designed to appeal to millennial and younger viewers.”

Sigh.

My Stuff

What I’m reading: Yesterday - Swan Song, Robert McCammon. Tomorrow - We Will Rise: A True Story of Tragedy and Resurrection in the American Heartland, Steve Beaven & A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World: A Novel, C.A. Fletcher.

What I’m playing: I am very much at a crossroads as far as what to play next. Suggestions are welcome.

What I’m listening to: The Office Ladies podcast.

What I’m watching: Some random college basketball. I’ve seen Seton Hall three times this year. Why is Seton Hall always on when I turn on the television?

What I’m Thinking

You know, I didn’t think Zion Williamson looked especially impressive during his NBA debut on Wednesday against the Spurs.

I know that’s not a popular view. And I have rightly been accused of being contrarian for the the sake of argument in the past. But Zion didn’t impress me.

If you’re unaware, he scored 17 consecutive points in the fourth quarter. It was impressive. Wait, I just said that I wasn’t impressed. So I can’t use that word. It was......good. It definitely wasn’t bad. Here’s what it looked like:

Do you know how he scored a great many of those points? Zion Williamson scored a great many of those points when he was left all alone to pursue his hoop-filling endeavors.

Maybe it’s the cynic in me. I don’t know. But if the plan for New Orleans to win an NBA championship is Zion hitting his wide open threes then New Orleans is not going to win an NBA championship.

And he looked sluggish. I’ve got nothing to say about his weight. (Note: I just realized, after I typed that sentence, that people have been spending a significant part of their day talking about Zion’s weight.) But look, I talked to my brother about this and for all we know Alvin Gentry told him to go at half-speed. Or quarter-speed. Or three-eighths speed. Or whatever.

You know, the more and more I type I’m starting to think that maybe my perspective is absurd. I mean the the guy scored 22 in his NBA debut. He’s the first person in NBA history to shoot 4 of 4 behind the arc in his first game.

No, I’ve come back around. I’m pretty sure I’m almost certainly right. The passing was crisp. That was a highlight. He was tenacious on the glass. The defense was non-existent. And he hit his open shots.

That fourth quarter was Zion ambling up the court, collecting a pass, and hitting wide open triples. At the risk of sounding like a 12-year-old, get back to me when he starts dunking guys into oblivion.

On a scale of 1-10 I give it a B. What do you think?