First things first: I’ve only watched the second half of the game because of a very awkward condition called “Living in Poland” and “using up the free League Pass trial before paying for it.” Don’t ask where I watched it, because if you force my hand into answering that question, I might have to kill you. Or at least wipe your memory Men in Black style.
The Suns lost, and they lost early. That’s the first observation here. They hung around, and then came the bench. The bench is usually Phoenix’ strength, and given that it will be much different in the regular season with Grant Hill coming back, I wouldn’t panic over their weak results last night. I mean, Hakim Warrick played small forward (and did it pretty well) in this bench scenario.
Now for the problems:
First, Marcin Gortat was diagnosed with a fracture in his right thumb. Worry not, though, his shooting wasn’t affected by it as he stayed in the game, and if he misses any time, it will not go past the game with the Hornets.
Secondly, the defense was awful, terrible, and all of that. The Suns weren’t playing smart at all. Granted, Denver’s one of the hardest covers in the league, and it’s the preseason, but a little more effort, especially in transition and on pick and rolls would be nice.
Thirdly, you have to limit the turnovers. Most of the blame here goes on Bassy and Shannon Brown who combined for 9 of the 16 Phoenix turnovers. Next time however, I doubt that you’ll see Bassy on the floor. While Brown made some good plays on both ends, Bassy overdid, overthought and ruined a lot of plays. Gentry will probably give him one last shot in the next game, but if he doesn’t impress, he’s sure to be replaced by a better player in Ronnie Price.
Fourthly, Robin Lopez still has trouble rebounding. It might not show up on the scoresheet as much, but he was beaten to the rebound a few times only because he was boxing out instead of going for the ball. I think he should take a hint from Gortat on how to rebound.
And finally, Markieff Morris played like a rookie. Eek.
For the positives:
Steve was a bit more assertive with his shots. And he was swishing most of them. Gotta love that.
Marcin scored 14 points and grabbed 8 boards in 25 minutes. I expect him to play at least 32 during the regular season. Yep, this guy is ready to take a step to the next level. He was efficient in wreaking havoc with his rolls to the rim, as he went to the line 10 times, hitting 8 of those. You gotta love that about him.
Hakim Warrick who was airballing free throws this time last year, was swishing jumpers from all over the place. He might save this bench’s face in the long run.
Robin Lopez was pretty good getting to the rim and scoring.
Shannon Brown has shown glimpses of serious balling, back when the game was within reach. He’s a solid addition.
What do I expect for the next game? More defence, more hustle, taking care of the basketball and hopefully, a return to the normal rotation with Grant Hill coming in.