Josh Okogie led the Phoenix Suns with 17 points, but the Suns were unable to take the lead in the second half, as the Denver Nuggets pulled away with the 115-107.
The Nuggets did have their full starters and rotation to start the game, but laid off the pedal in the second half. There was still energy from both sides with minutes on the line this upcoming season.
Chimezie Metu notably looked great offensively, and is getting closer to rising in the ranking when it comes to the Suns bench. This game was a good test for all bench players, but most importantly, we had a Bol Bol sighting in the second half of the game!
Chimezie Metu looked like the most confident and comfortable player on the court for the Suns. He is unafraid to shoot the three and will find the spacing to get himself open and in the eye sight of the ball handler. In the first quarter he was chill and able to handle the defense with what looked like a capri-sun in one hand and the ball in the other. He was 1-2 from 3 to start, but from what it looked like, he was on his way to winning Suns fans’ hearts from the start.
Jusuf Nurkic brought home the power in the paint. Bossed Nikola Jokic around a few times for easy looks at the rim. The importance in seeing him use his power and stay out of foul trouble early. Something he failed to do in the first preseason game.
The thing that stuck out most in the first quarter with Saben Lee was the missed passes. Failing to hit guys when they are open. This one thing can keep him benched this season if it does not improve. He started the game 1-1 from the field with 2 assists before exiting, but there are times when you can see the tunnel vision.
But! You can always count on Josh Okogie to keep things entertaining! Like below...
J.O. with the steal— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) October 11, 2023
J.O. with the triple pic.twitter.com/TBsjuE2uIk
Grayson Allen and Eric Gordon made it look easy coming off the bench. The way that they moved the ball and found the open man to end the first half was comforting. These two looked to be the two to lead our second unit in future games. Their ability to get to the rim and draw contact, even when they weren’t getting the calls, makes them even more versatile. Suns fans, our bench is in good hands.
The fire power from deep on this Suns team when everyone is playing will be— Suns Lead (@SunsLead) October 11, 2023
The Nuggets returned after halftime with their starters on the bench. Both benches began to battle for earned minutes for the regular season.
Drew Eubanks will be on the floor a lot this year. The frustrating part can be that Eubanks has a heard time finishing around the rim, but his effort gets him to the line. Starting the game 4-6 from the line.
Then... Bol Bol made his entrance and the crowd went wild. That’s all we want to see in preseason basketball. Bol Bol.
Bol Bol enters the game pic.twitter.com/9vMid7BjaB— Suns JAM Session Podcast (@SunsJAM) October 11, 2023
He then lasted maybe a minute?
Josh Okogie carried the way for the Suns for the most part of the second half, burying threes and keeping the Suns close in the game.
Heading into the fourth the Suns could only keep it close, but not take the lead. The Nuggets made tough shots while the Suns defense looked lost at times.
Bol Bol did return and had a nice block!
Then the step back three!
Bol Bol was a menace, and gave the Suns some confidence to begin the fourth quarter. The charge was led, but to a wasteland, as the Suns fell short. Oh well. It is just preseason!