The win over the Cavaliers feels like it was seasons ago -- not just mere games ago, but on this long of a road trip every game has to feel like that. It was not a banner week for the Phoenix Suns as they were humiliated, injured, and sent into a spiral that may force head coach Alvin Gentry into additional changes in the rotations.
This has been a trying week for the team as a whole. They are struggling to stop just about anyone as the worst defensive team in the league -- highlighted by 117 points given up to the Pistons -- a team that has scored only 100+ points four times before this season.
Picking the defense apart is tough for writers and apparently the coaching staff between the poor rotations, the lack of defense at the three-point line, and dribble penetration that is like a warm knife through butter, but easier for the opposition.
It does not get easier for the team with Jermaine O'Neal seemingly injured with another war wound from a 16 year NBA career. The younger counterparts are getting the chance to play as well with Kendall Marshall being sent to the Developmental League to stretch his legs leaving the team short-handed in practice and the games. Looking past those two the drive and passion seems to come in small bursts off of the bench and that is all.
Starters Michael Beasley, Markieff Morris, and Marcin Gortat do not seem to have a sense of urgency while the bench has it, but in small doses with Sebastian Telfair and P.J. Tucker. That is an internal clock that needs to be fixed, but a cure is yet to be found.
Turnovers (65) and Technical's (7).
Easily the theme of these past four games as the Suns are averaging 16.25 turnovers per game this week (good for seventh worst in the league if they keep it up) and collected seven total technical's. Both of those are things that typically happen more on the road in general, but the Suns lack of composure was on full display this week.
No need to overtone this with wildly negative sinicism, but was there any highs this week?
Starting off the week with a solid victory over the hapless Cavaliers was all in good, but that was followed by losses to the hapless Pistons and hapless Raptors.
It was a categorically embarrassing loss to the Pistons. The game ended as the third worst defeat in the history of the Suns and led to Coach Gentry saying the play wasn't even at a college basketball level.
No home practices this week folks, check back in next week for a full practice report.
A look at three different players on the Suns for the week forming a good, bad, and a surprise either way each week.
- C- for Shannon Brown - Nobody has suffered more than Brown since the change in the rotations as he seems out of place as a floor spacer with fewer shots available with this unit.
- D+ for Markieff Morris - At home, as a starter, Morris shined scoring 21 PPG, but has regressed to 7.2 PPG on the road since.
- C- for Luis Scola - It took a few games, but Scola has seems to have adjusted well to his new role, but is still be used primarily as a long range shooter. His name isn't David West for a reason.
Player of the Week:
Goran Dragic - 12.75 PPG 4.25 RPG 4.5 APG 1.0 SPG
For what it is worth the Suns point guard had a solid week, but it had some bitter moments as well. Two streaks came to an end however as he did not record multiple steals for the first time in 10 games (against Detroit), a streak that was not a record of any kind, but an indication of his effort. Then against New York Dragic did not score in double-digits for the first time all season (the only Sun with that distinction) and only the fifth time ever as a starter.
Pretty amazing that as a starter (53 games) Dragic has scored in double-figured 48 times dating back to his rookie season in 2008-2009.
Previewing the Week Ahead:
Tuesday, December 4th @ Memphis Grizzlies (12-3)
Thursday, December 6th vs. Dallas Mavericks (8-9)
Saturday, December 8th @ Los Angeles Clippers (10-6)
Sunday, December 9th vs. Orlando Magic (5-10)