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Center of the Sun: A comeback, a nail biter, and a dominating win; Great Week 1 for the Phoenix Suns

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

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Phoenix Suns v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Welcome to the weekly news roundup of your Phoenix Suns.

It’s that time of the week again, Bright Siders. Let’s reflect on Week 1 on the regular season and prepare for Week 2. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, but we sprint through these weeks at lighting speed.

Such is life.

One day you’re in your twenties and invincible, the next you’re 40 and have a nagging sciatic nerve issue in your left leg that is going to require three spinal injections and six bouts of physical therapy to fix. But, like the regular season, you put your head down and power through it, knowing that when it’s over, greatness awaits.

Week 1 saw a magical comeback, an intense overtime loss, and a dominating win in Los Angeles. The Suns have begun the season at 2-1, and while everything isn’t perfect, they displayed resiliency, defensive intensity, and superstar presence.

The train is just beginning to roll down the track, and it’s nice to see it’s headed in the right direction. Loads of information to delve into, so let’s delve.

Player of the Week

Devin Booker

32.0 points, 5.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds

53.1 FG%, 52.9 3PT%, 95 FT%

Game Recaps

Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks (W, 107-105) FULL RECAP

Phoenix Suns @ Portland Trail Blazers (L, 113-111) FULL RECAP

Phoenix Suns @ Los Angeles Clippers

Preseason Highlights/Post Game Podcasts


366. Suns (1-0) vs. Mavs Post Game Pod:


367. Suns (1-1) @ Blazers Post Game Pod


368. Suns (2-1) @ Clippers Post Game Pod

News & Notes

Bleacher Report: NBA Teams in Make-or-Break Seasons

ESPN: Adam Silver apologizes to Suns employees, says he takes responsibility for NBA letting them down

Burn City Sports: Lillard Asked Ayton Serious Question Before Free Throws

Fan Nation: Suns Center Deandre Ayton off to Strong Start

Clutch Points: Luka Doncic’s bold take on Mavs loss to Suns is a stern warning to the rest of NBA

Fan Nation: Fans Not Happy With Cam Johnson’s Slow Start

AZ Central: ‘Unconditional support and love’: Damion Lee appreciates Stephen Curry’s video on game winner

ABC15 Arizona: Man sentenced to one year in jail for Phoenix Suns ticket fraud scheme

Quotes of the Week

“This camp has been, not stressful, but competitive.” — Monty Williams

“The past three years it’s been rocking. Every game. They don’t...they don’t bullshit around here. They don't bullshit.” — Devin Booker

“Ball was in my hands, seven seconds to go, just go make a play. Got to my spot...and whatever happened from there happened,” — Damion Lee

“All the time if Cam is in or somebody else is in and they’re rolling, I’m always like, ‘Coach, let them keep going.’ They were rolling so why not let them finish the game?” — Chris Paul

“Have you ever been in this situation before?”” — Damian Lillard to Deandre Ayton prior to two late-game free throws against Portland

“To fall on your hip, anybody who has ever fallen on their hip, tailbone, they’ve been there. It just feels real heavy, real stiff. Just trying to get a little bit of the swelling out and get the movement back.” — Cameron Johnson

Key Stat

Chris Paul’s usage rate this season through three games is 15.9%. It was 19.7% last season. What does it mean? Stay tuned to Bright Side this week as I’ll break down my thoughts on it.

Injury Status Report

Jae Crowder (working on his next hype video) is NOT WITH TEAM

This Week in Suns History

October 25, 1985.

Not only is the actual date that my little brother Paul was born in Mesa, AZ (happy 37th ‘lil bro!), but it is also that opening night for the Suns as they visited the Portland Trail Blazers to kick off their 1985-86 campaign.

The Suns had surprised the Western Conference the previous season, as the John MacLeod led 41-41 squad made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals. They lost 4-2 to the Showtime Lakers, but it was a magical run and an underrated chapter in the book entitled, “Suns Fandom”.

The game took place at Memorial Coliseum in Portland, not to be confused with the home of the Suns, Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum. We really don’t refer to modern day arenas as “coliseums” anymore, do we?

The game was a tightly contested affair between names like Walter Davis and Alvan Adams for the Suns against Kiki Vanderweghe and Clyde Drexler for the Blazers. The game was tied at halftime and tied at the end of regulation.

Portland ultimately won the game, outscoring Phoenix 11 to 6 in OT. The Blazers would go on to a 40-42 record, finishing second in the Pacific Division. The Suns? They’d finish 32-50 and begin their downward trajectory plagued with scandal and controversy.

Suns Trivia

The Suns lost their season opener to the Blazers in overtime in 1985. How many times has their season opener gone to OT?

  • 1985: Portland Trail Blazers 128, Phoenix Suns 123, OT
  • 1999: Denver Nuggets 107, Phoenix Suns 102, OT
  • 2005: Dallas Mavericks 111, Phoenix Suns 108, 2OT

That’s right. The Suns are 0-3 in overtime season openers.

Upcoming Games

Tuesday, October 25 — Phoenix Suns vs. Golden State Warriors

Friday, October 28 — Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans Pelicans

Sunday, October 30 — Phoenix Suns vs. Houston Rockets

All right Suns fans, are you ready for a fun week of nationally televised games as the team dons their sunburst uniforms?! Are you ready for s six-game home stand?! Because that is what you are going to get!

The week starts off on the back end of the Tuesday night TNT slate and Phoenix will be wearing those beautiful purple ’92-’93 throw backs. For those of you who are too young to remember actually seeing the Suns wear these, you are in for quite a treat. It is the perfect blend of purple and orange. Enjoy.

Golden State is up first. Early in the season, they have seen their fair share of D-R-A-M-A. Draymond Green socked it to Jordan Poole, and everyone done lost their minds. Is it good for unit cohesion? Is it a sign that the old Warrior is on his way out?

But hey, the Suns have their own drama, so let’s focus on the hardwood.

The Warriors are 2-1 through threes games this season. They destroyed the Lakers on opening night, lost to the Denver Nuggets, and won the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night at home.

We’ll be seeing sunbursts again on Friday. That’s when the New Orleans Pelicans come to the Footprint Center.

They won their first two games against the Brooklyn Nets and the Charlotte Hornets an average of 17 points. Brandon Ingram averaged 28 points (he scored that amount in each of their first two games) and 8 rebounds, Zion Williamson averaged 20.5 points and 7 rebounds. So much for these guys not co-existing, eh?

New Orleans played the league’s fire-sale team, the Utah Jazz (3-0), on Sunday night, who led by 17 with 9:43 left in the 4th quarter. The Pelicans would roar back and force OT, eventually losing to the Jazz.

The week rounds out with a game against the Houston Rockets next Sunday. Sorry, the Suns will be wearing their new black Statement Edition uniforms.

Houston has started the season 0-3, but with young talent like Jalen Green, Kevin Porter, Jr., and Jabari Smith, Jr., you can’t over look them. Their primary challenge comes on the defensive end as they are last in the league in defensive rating (121.) and net rating (-12.1).

How do you think the Suns will fair this week? We’ll find out via our weekly poll! Let us know in the comments why you chose your record?


What will the Suns’ record be this week?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    (47 votes)
  • 69%
    (139 votes)
  • 5%
    (11 votes)
  • 1%
    (2 votes)
199 votes total Vote Now

Weekly Prediction: 2-1

You’ve had your chance to vote above and to explain why below, now I have mine.

Golden State is beatable, and I believe the Suns will do so at home. The play with a finesse that the Suns can compete with. Their bench will be a challenge — they average 37 points to the Suns’ 30but with the home crowd behind them, I feel a victory in the air.

New Orleans is a different kind of beast. They are a team on the upswing, possessing an athletic roster that also has size. We know this. We saw it in the 2022 postseason. Zion is back. Well, was.

This makes this a toss up, but still, I think Phoenix might let this one slip. Rebounding can be an issue, or it least it was last year against this team. If that's the case, the Suns can lose.

Lastly, the Rockets. They’ll annoy, they’ll pester. They’ll put together frustrating scoring runs. They’ll lose.

That is everything that is fit to print this week. Make it a great one, Bright Side.

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