The Phoenix Suns opened their 2011 NBA preseason campaign with a road loss to the Denver Nuggets by the depressing score of 127-110. We were warned that the new emphasis on defense would take some time to show results as the team adjusts to a whole new scheme installed by "defensive coordinator" Elston Turner.
Offensively, the Suns struggled with turnovers which was one of the things coach Gentry warned about recently, "We've got to make sure we're not turning the ball over. That becomes really important because when we do, obviously it makes the field goal percentage go up dramatically when you're (giving up) layups."
That's exactly what happened in the first half of this game as the Suns turned the ball over 12 times leaded to 11 Denver points. Four of those fumbles were credited to backup point guard Sebastian Telfair in just under six minutes of play in the first quarter.
The Suns finished the game with 16 turnovers but that's still four fewer than Denver. Neither team shot the ball well from three (6-24 for the Suns, 7-22 for Denver) but the Nuggets shot almost 53 percent for the game which was the difference.
Denver point guard Ty Lawson led all scorers with 21 points while the Suns got 14 each from Marcin Gortat and Hakim Warrick. Warrick continued his hot shooting that he's shown all training camp going 7-11. Suns rookie Markieff Morris played 27 minutes with 10 points and seven rebounds before fouling out.
The Suns will face the same Denver team on Thursday in their second and final preseason game.
For more on the Suns, visit Bright Side of the Sun.