November 13, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) during the second quarter against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Suns 133-120. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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Watching a Suns game is like watching a train wreck. You can’t turn away, but you really don’t want to see it.
At first, you aren’t sure if you really want to change the channel to FOX Sports Arizona, or not. You think, “Maybe there’s just a Coyotes game on tonight?” But no, it’s the Suns, and they are already down by 20. Argh! And you wonder, what happened this time?
This time, being Wednesday night’s game in Denver, is a complete disappearing act by T.J. Warren and Eric Bledsoe. The two combined for 16 points over a total combined 55 minutes played. Bledsoe played for 34 minutes alone and was 2-4 from the field, and 1-3 from the 3-point line. What the heck was he doing all night? At least Warren only played 18 minutes, but was a sizzling 2-11 on his 2-point shots.
Devin Booker and Brandon Knight represented well. And the best part of the game was Booker’s ejection at the end – I love his passion. He gets clobbered every time he goes to the basket, but never gets a call. Why not?
But if one or two of the Suns key offensive players have an off night – forget it. It will be another 20 point loss. Even if they all play well, it’s no guarantee the Suns will win – they might, at least, be competitive.
In the off-season I wrote about the Suns streak of irrelevancy. I see no end in sight. It’s not bad enough they don’t have a prayer of making the playoffs – it’s worse that no one seems to care.
The organization is putting all its hopes in the development of young players, and seems to have abandoned making any improvements through trade or free-agency. I hope by the time you read this, they may have actually done something to address their problems, especially at power forward – but I doubt it.
I do actually applaud the promotion of Marquese Chriss to starter. If he’s ever going to improve, he needs the minutes. But in 12 minutes Wednesday night, he had 2 points and 1 rebound. That won’t cut it for a starting power forward. It’s like the Suns were playing 4-on-5 against Denver. (Make that 2 on 5 since Warren and Bledsoe didn’t show up.)
I try to remember that Phoenix has a history of turning their seasons around. In 1975-1976 the Suns, behind some free agent signing, trades and draft picks, improved 10 games and ended a 5-year playoff drought with a trip to the NBA Finals. In 1977-1978 they improved 15 games and went to the conference finals. They went from a 28 win season in 1987-1988 to 55 wins the following year. And in 2005-2006 the Suns went from a miserable 29 wins to a franchise record 62 after signing Steve Nash. And it’s too soon to forget 2013-2014 when Phoenix just missed the playoffs by winning 48 games after a dismal 25 the year before. My point is that it can happen, but something needs to change first.
I know it’s early, but my trepidation, fear, dread, anxiety, about the season continues to grow. The Suns can stay the course, and hope they drafted another Booker-like miracle. But it’s not looking that way. If they don’t want to bore us to death with another dreadful season, they have to make a move. Something? Anything? Please!
I already have a headache just thinking about it.
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