Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
The Suns, after losing to the Orlando Magic on Sunday night, showed that they could struggle mightily throughout the rest of this season.
With less than 3 minutes remaining in a match between the Magic and the Suns, Phoenix broadcaster Steve Albert said that the, "Orlando Magic look unstoppable. I never thought I'd be saying those words."
With the loss of Dwight Howard due to trade and the retooling phase the Magic are going through, not many did. But on Sunday night when the Magic defeated the Suns 115-94, Orlando looked simply unbeatable led by Glen Davis, J.J. Redick and E'Twaun Moore.
It was a tale of two halves with the Suns leading by 14 at one point in the first half and ending up losing by 21. 35 point swings against a less than stellar team are hardly acceptable, especially when their starting point guard and small forward are out with injury.
Maybe the Magic are better than I am giving them credit for. After all, they did beat the Denver Nuggets, a young team that many had high hopes for entering the season. But with a lineup featuring as many no-name players as the Magic, the Suns should be able to win a game where the pace favored them. We know that with their style of play, games are always going to be closer than they actually should, but this was a win they should have easily obtained.
The Suns were simply out-hustled. For a team that is going to rely on grit to win games this season due to their lack of talent, the Suns came out of the locker room in the second half looking lackadaisical and sluggish. This was a game that, based on talent level, the Suns should have dominated.
Lack of chemistry should be no excuse for this loss, either. While the Suns feature three new starters for their team, the Magic have 10 new players in the aftermath of the Dwight Howard trade. These two teams are on even ground at best in the chemistry department as they get to know their teammates. It came down to a lack of execution, poor defense along the 3-point line, being out-rebounded by a smaller team and losing the turnover battle.
Before the season, I predicted the Suns would end the season with a 30-52 record, finishing 13th in the Western Conference and a decent lottery pick. After watching them get blown out by Orlando, that may be a bit generous. Based on what I saw from them, the Phoenix Suns could have a long season ahead of them.