The Phoenix Suns had a miserable week. They looked good in two home wins and then performed admirably in Los Angeles in a road loss to the Lakers. Then the wheels fell off. The shots stopped falling (again). The defense fell off the table. The aging stars missed time and showed their wear and tear. Four-straight losses later and the NBA Power Rankings have not (appropriately) been kind.
Tom Ziller at SB Nation dropped the Suns from 11th last week to 17th this week which was probably still generous considering Phoenix, at 4-8, shares nearly the same record as Boston Celtics who Ziller ranked 24th.
NBA Power Rankings: Bulls Take Over, Celtics Slide Into Abyss - SBNation.com
The problems with Phoenix are the same as they've always been: they aren't good on the glass, and they don't draw any fouls. The shots haven't been falling as readily, so that kills the whole offense, no matter how Steve Nash plays.
The Suns fell from 12th in the league in defensive efficiency (100.6 points per 48 minutes) last week to 23rd in the league this week. The offense stayed about the same.
103 points per game on average over those four games with the difference coming at the three-point line. Over their first eight games the Suns allowed just 31 percent shooting from three while over the last four games that number jumped to 36 percent.
The recent trend could be an anomaly, but then again the early season number could be a result of teams shooting poorly in the first few weeks. We'll see.
Bright Side Of The Sun has a look at the week that was:
Phoenix Suns Week in Review: Slipping Into Darkness -
Losing to the Lakers and Spurs on the road is excusable. Losing to the Cavs and Nets at home? Not so much. And it isn't as if we can point to one or two issues that are the cause of the problems; there are plenty to choose from.
Shooting, defense, rebounding, lack of a go-to scorer late in games and age have taken turns as the fatal flaws with the team.