Even without Deandre Ayton, T.J. Warren and Richaun Holmes available due to lower limb injuries, the Phoenix Suns actually kept this fence against the Portland Trail Blazers. The thing is that, with one of the most inexperienced rotations in the entire league, there will be many moments of scratching your head to comb.
For example, this sequence in the first half involved De'Anthony Melton and Quincy Acy. First, Jamal Crawford gave Acy a pretty open look at a pick-and-roll basket, but he does not even look at the edge before giving it to Melton. Unfortunately, Melton does not even look at the basket while driving and then turns in the air trying to find Acy in the corner. Ease of rotation and points on the other end for Portland because they try to make it happen too.
Again, with a young team, these moments are expected, but they bite him again for 48 full minutes of action. Another example can be found in the second room where Josh Jackson had no idea what he was doing on a record before firing a shot that seemed to get out of hand before retrieving it and finding Dragan Bender for a good penny.
In another lost season, the development of players like this for Phoenix, currently 11-39 after this last defeat, you have to find the positive points where you can.
You already know the exercise with my recapitulations, readers of Bright Side Of The Sun. I will relay my biggest winners (Thumbs Up) and losers (Thumbs Down) of the game tonight.
Without further ado, let's delve into it below.
Thumbs up: Devin BookerBinge eating of the first trimester
Without a 10-minute stanza of aggressive opening by Booker, Phoenix will probably never keep him close as they did tonight. Booker scored 18 points in 6 of 9 shots, which included him taking advantage of the numbers in the transition opportunities once again. This has been a trend I've noticed with Booker since his return on the Suns road trip last week.
Booker was also able to hit a few three-pointers, including a rare upset he has been fighting this season, but he cooled significantly from there once Portland adjusted his defensive coverages against him.
Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts helped organize a good fit in Booker's game, which included Maurice Harkless and Evan Turner taking turns to harbad Booker. Then, Stotts sent several aid bodies to Booker every time he was inside the restricted area, so it was difficult to spend the last three quarters for Booker.
Booker's positive lead was useful, but Portland's adjustments led him to a big negative loss on Thursday night.
Thumbs down: Devin BookerThe problems of rotation
Credit where the credit is owed with Stotts and his coaching staff for this. Booker finished with six turnovers, tripling his overall attendance production.
Every time Booker tried to maneuver and find his own companions for open eyes, they either did not convert or Portland made life more difficult.
There's not much more to add in this category, but it feels like the first game at a time when Booker's turnover was so negative in a single exit.
However, when there is still no initial caliber point guard on the list, Booker can not be blamed when he has such an absurd rate of use, especially without Ayton and Warren being with him.
Thumbs down: Dragan Bender
This was a quick 180 degree turn for Bender after his best two-game winning streak against Minnesota with consecutive doubles. After an initial stretch of badertiveness that took five shots in the first quarter, Bender's old habits began to raise his ugly head.
In just a few minutes, Bender did all the following:
- Travel infraction when doubting against incoming pressure
- stuck on the edge in an attempt to drive, but rescued with a lack of call
Jusuf Nurkic continually got the places he wanted on the ground against Bender, but simply missed the easy shots.
- After all these moments, I noticed that Bender had his head down and spoke alone. Bender's old tendency to get into his own head was happening before head coach Igor Kokoskov lured him to Quincy Acy
As you can see, it seems that everything has returned to normal in Bender Island. However, this week of action shows that Bender can at least stay at the NBA level for another contract, since he somehow also contributed 17 points in this game.
As I mentioned in the preview piece of the game, I imagine it in Golden State or in San Antonio for this date next year. Unfortunately for Bender, his time in Phoenix is over, and these maddening fights with inconsistency will not help in his case.
Thumbs up: Elie okobo – Spark plug bank
When witnessing another blowout loss, it is difficult to really get another positive result from this, but at least Okobo showed some of his tempting offensive potential when De'Aththony Melton fell with a sprained ankle at the beginning of the second half. (Yes, another injury occurred with a Suns starter, which is the last thing you want to see at this time with the current state of this team).
Okobo scored nine of his 12 points in a quick burst during the third quarter. France's No. 31 overall selection continues to have problems with defensive consistency plus the balance between scoring and play within the offensive flow, but it's good to see these types of sequences from time to time.
Well, we'll do that here from Talking Stick Resort Arena. Once again, another blowout loss for the Suns like this glove in the Western Conference will not be relieved at any time before the All-Star break.
Next, Phoenix will visit Denver tomorrow night to finish their last consecutive meeting.