The Suns come into Sac-town to meet a rolling Kings team. A Kings team they’ve been having a lot of trouble with last year, a Kings team that not only has a competent head coach at the helm in Keith Smart, but some nice offseason and draft additions in Chuck Hayes, Isaiah Thomas and Jimmer Fredette… I guess. And most importantly, a team with an arena filled with fans trying to protect their franchise from relocation, an arena that might’ve just out-Thundered the Thunder in the last game. Yessir, this team won with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
These Suns will have a challenge ahead, a challenge mostly defensive. Stopping DeMarcus Cousins, a beast unleashed from Paul Westphal’s Rusty Cage. Meanwhile the Suns had an unexpected slump from their most consistent producer in Marcin Gortat. Paul Coro attributed it to Gortat getting the yearly “you’re not in the All-Star game” memo, but I’d give a little dubious credit to Alvin Gentry’s scheme of refusing to give Gortat consistent touches before forcing him into a playmaking crunch situation.
The bright spot, however was Channing Frye who finally had a game he was capable of, scoring 21 points on rational attempts. Sure, it’s not much, but always nice to see Channing getting some rhythm. Now, if only the Suns can play some D (a horrible performance against Houston leaving midrange shooting bigs for open Js almost all the time), they should manage to do something right. It will be hard against a team of Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thorton and Cousins, though.
There’s no recipe for success at this point, perhaps other than trusting Marcin Gortat with the ball a little more. He seems frustrated with the role he has, and rightly so. He’s capable of so much more than garbage baskets. The other idea here is going back to the Di’Antoni system. If Jeremy Lin can live and die by the pick and roll, I’m pretty sure that Steve Nash can handle it. But then again, Alvin is trying to force weird solutions rather than work the obvious for a long time now.
Channing Frye is still going strong, so I’m still gonna go out and criticize him. Ever since I started this section, he’s been ballin. DON’T TRUST CHANNING FRYE!