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Center of the Sun: Suns extend win streak to eight for the 2nd best record in the West

Your weekly roundup of Suns news, rumors, notes and videos from the prior week plus a preview of the week to come.

Phoenix Suns v Houston Rockets Photo by Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images

Welcome to the weekly news roundup of your Phoenix Suns.

Game Recaps

Phoenix Suns @ Sacramento Kings W (109-104) Full Recap

Phoenix Suns vs Portland Trail Blazers W (119-109) Full Recap

Phoenix Suns @ Memphis Grizzlies W (119-94) Full Recap

Phoenix Suns @ Houston Rockets W (115-89) Full Recap

Week Four is in the books and the Suns have a shiny 8-game win streak, the second best record in the West and are tied with the Washington Wizards for the second best record in the NBA.

Don’t those of you who started to panic when the Suns started off the season 1-3 feel a little silly right now?

It’s still very early in the season and many of the Suns’ wins weren’t against top-notch teams but six of the eight games in their win streak were with Deandre Ayton sidelined with a lower leg injury. During those games, JaVale McGee and Frank Kaminsky have filled in admirably, playing big roles in getting those wins.

The Suns have been sharing the offensive workload and have seven players currently averaging double figures in scoring. Gone are the days when an opponent’s game plan was simply to double-team Devin Booker whenever possible and make other Suns beat you. Monty’s .5 offense coupled with adding CP3 and a very solid supporting cast has made the Suns into one of the best teams in the NBA.

Game Highlights


Cameron Payne Leads the Way With 24 Points vs. Sacramento Kings


Frank Kaminsky Scores a Career-High 31 Points vs. the Portland Trail Blazers


Chris Paul puts up 15-PT, 12 AST double-double against Grizzlies


JaVale McGee (19 PTS, 14 REB) Produces First Double-Double of the Season vs. Rockets

Chris Paul Nutmegs And Embarrasses The Defender! Then Hits The Shot!

Key Stats

109.1 OffRtg (7th-tie), 104.0 DefRtg (8th), 5.1 NetRtg (5th)

The Suns are once again top-10 in both offense and defense for the entire season. Over their 8-game win streak, they were 6th in offense (111.4), 2nd in defense (99.1) and 2nd in net rating (12.2).

47.7% FG (1st), 36.1% 3-PT (8th)

It wasn’t too long ago we were wondering why the Suns started off the season shooting poorly but suddenly that problem has resolved itself and they are now leading the NBA in field goal percentage and 8th in three-point percentage.

9.8 steals per game (3rd-tie)

CP3 is leading the way with a 2.8 steals per game average (best in the NBA!) and the Suns are so far one of the top teams in thievery this season. DA, Crowder, Book and Frank the Tank are all also averaging at least one steal per game while both of the Cams and Mikal are averaging just below 1 spg.

Random stats: At 6.1 rebounds per game, Devin Booker is the Suns 3rd leading rebounder this season. His previous best rebounding season was 2017-18 when he averaged 4.5 rpg. His career average is 3.8 rpg.

Quotes of the Week

“He (Chris Paul) is a bit of a safety blanket for a lot of us because of his ability to score and find guys, and just make plays. He certainly makes us look a lot better than we deserve. He’s just that good of a basketball player on both ends of the floor.” - Monty Williams

“Every time he (Devin Booker) shoot it, I think it’s going in” - Chris Paul

“Anything is possible, I go by my motto don’t wake up keep dreaming.” - Cameron Payne

Injury Status Report

Deandre Ayton (Leg) Game Time Decision.

Dario Saric (Knee) Expected to be out until at least April 1.

News & Notes

Phoenix Suns have shaken off uneven start; look like contenders once again. Sir Charles In Charge

“It is a home game for me”: Cameron Payne reflects on playing in Memphis for the first time since NBA Finals. Local

Phoenix Suns News: Monty Williams Makes Honest, Fair Assessment Of Having Chris Paul. International Business News

Phoenix Suns News: Landry Shamet Opens Up On Cold Shooting Streak. International Business News

Suns Broadcaster Tom Leander Inducted Into Broadcast’s Silver Circle Society.

Ranking the 5 Best and Worst Lineups in the NBA This Season. Bleacher Report

Mikal Bridges Ranks His Phoenix Suns Teammates’ Outfits. The Ringer (VIDEO)

This Week in Suns History

On November 17, 2000, Jason Kidd tied the NBA record for turnovers in a game when he turned the ball over 14 times in a 90-85 loss to New York. John Drew of the Atlanta Hawks previously held the record alone after committing 14 turnovers at New Jersey on March 1, 1977. This record still stands today.

On November 20, 2000, due various injuries and declining performance Rex Chapman retired at the age of 32. Chapman spent the final four years of his NBA career with the Suns averaging 12.4 points, 2.5 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game for the Suns while shooting 36.0% from three. He started 154 of the 224 games he played in Phoenix. He is 14th on the Suns’ All-Time list for career 3-pointers made (324), 18th on the All-Time list for threes made per game (1.45) and 50th on the Suns’ All-Time list of leading scorers (2,787 points).

Rex Chapman’s magical shot for the Phoenix Suns against the Seattle SuperSonics

Suns Trivia

During the Suns game against Memphis on Nov. 12, Mikal Bridges passed Rex Chapman on the Suns’ All-Time list for career 3-pointers made to move into 13th on that list. Mikal presently has made 329 career threes and needs 13 more to pass Gerald Green to move up to 12th.

Current Suns GM James Jones is 29th on the Suns’ All-Time list for three-pointers made as a Sun with 200.

Previewing the Week Ahead

Monday, Nov. 15 - Phoenix Suns @ Minnesota Timberwolves 6:00 pm AZT

Wednesday, Nov. 17 - Phoenix Suns vs Dallas Mavericks 8:00 pm AZT (ESPN)

Friday, Nov. 19 - Phoenix Suns vs Dallas Mavericks 8:00 pm AZT (ESPN)

Sunday, Nov. 21 - Phoenix Suns vs Denver Nuggets 6:00 pm AZT

The Suns have another loaded four game week ahead with the final three at home. With one exception, the competition gets tougher this week too.

First up, the Suns are in Minnesota to take on the 4-8 Timberwolves. The Wolves have a sputtering offense (25th) and a slightly above average defense (12th) which equals out to a below average team (19th net rating). The Suns are the better team but they’re also playing the Wolves on the second night of a B2B on the road which could lead to a letdown in performance. I think they’ll still have enough juice left to get a win in this one though.

On Wednesday the Suns will be back in Phoenix for the first of two games in 3 days against the Dallas Mavericks. Although the Mavs are 8-4, they’re 21st in offense and 20th in defense with a point differential of minus-1.6 for the season. The best team they’ve beaten so far is the 7-6 Raptors with the rest of their wins coming against teams .500 or below. The Suns stats are better but they haven’t faced - or beaten - a lot of tough opponents yet either. I think the Suns and Mavs will split the wins in this two-games series.

Finally, the Suns get a chance to even things up with the 9-4 Nuggets on Sunday for the 110-98 loss they handed the Suns on opening night. Denver’s been playing great defense (2nd) this season while their offense has fallen to the back of the pack (23rd). I think the Suns will get their revenge and even up the season series with the Nuggets.

This week I’m predicting that the Suns will go 3-1.

What’s your prediction?

Important Future Dates

December 1 - Priority order for waiver claims is now based on 2021/22 record, rather than 2020/21 record.

December 15 - Most players signed during offseason can be traded.

December 25 - Phoenix Suns vs Golden State Warriors 3:00 PM AZT (ABC)

January 5 - 10-day contracts may now be signed.

January 10 - All Standard NBA contracts are guaranteed for the remainder of the season.

January 15 - All players signed during offseason can be traded. Last day to apply for a disabled player exception.

January 20 - All Two-Way Contracts are guaranteed for the remainder of the season.

February 10 - NBA Trade Deadline (3 p.m. ET).

February 18-23 - NBA All-Star break.

February 20 - NBA All-Star Game.

March 1 - Playoff Eligibility Waiver Deadline.

April 10 - Regular season ends.

April 12-15 - Play-In Tournament.

April 16 - Playoffs begin.

May 17 - NBA Draft Lottery.

June 23 - NBA Draft.

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