20121022_mjr_su5_019

The Suns got their revenge for a prior preseason loss to the Kings. Phoenix survived a sloppy start to beat Sacramento, 103-88 behind a 25-point night from Jared Dudley.

The Sacramento Kings come into Phoenix tonight on a high note. They just finished off the mighty (on paper) Los Angeles Lakers last night on a 10-0 game-ending run in the final 2 minutes against the entire projected Laker starting lineup. Kobe Bryant missed a couple of hero shots and Nash missed a floater in the lane while the Kings pounded the ball inside on the back of DeMarcus Cousins.

The Kings are now 5-1 in preseason, with one of those wins coming against the Suns in Sacramento. They are outscoring their opponent by 5 points per game, currently 5th overall in preseason scoring at 101.80 points per game. Yet despite their seemingly obvious advantage on the boards, the Kings are only 21st in rebounds per game (compared to the Suns' 11th-ranked rate of 43.25).

The Suns are 2-2 themselves, already matching the most preseason wins they've had in years after only four games (2-6 in 2010 and 0-2 in 2011). In addition to rebounding, the Suns are scoring well (8th overall) at 99.25 ppg, outshooting and out-assisting their opponents on average each night.

Sure, it's only preseason. The Suns and Kings will both face tougher competition once the season starts for real. But winning is winning. It builds confidence, especially on a roster with more new players than incumbents.

We don't know yet what Alvin Gentry has in store for distribution of minutes tonight. On one hand, it's only game 5 of preseason and he still has to decide which backup big man to keep among Ike Diogu, Luke Zeller and Solomon Jones.

On the other hand, it's a home game and you always want to please the crowd who paid good money to watch their team. I'm rooting for the latter.

BSotS' own Dave King will be at the game tonight, so watch twitter and BSotS for pregame notes, in-game notes and a late-night indepth postgame recap replete with quotes from Gentry and the guys.

Let's hope they're all in a good mood after a Suns win!


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Recap:

The Suns spotted the Kings a 14-2 lead behind a bevy of turnovers, but a group that included Goran Dragic and four subs closed the gap and the Suns only trailed 25-21 at the end of the first period. The second unit held serve for the better part of the second quarter until the starters returned and used a 9-2 run to close out the first half and give the Suns a 50-44 lead at the intermission.

The Suns opened up the lead after halftime and led comfortably for the entire third quarter, at one point stretching it to a 76-60 lead. It appeared the Suns may pull away at this point, but Sacramento had a different idea. A 15-6 run by Sacramento cut the lead to six, with rookie Thomas Robinson making his presence felt.

The Kings would never get any closer, though, as Markieff Morris scored six points in a stretch where the Suns opened the lead back up to double digits. Jared Dudley poured in 11 more points in a period of less than two minutes down the stretch to salt away the victory.

Player of the Game:

Jared Dudley 25 points 9-12 FG 4-6 3FG 3-3 FT 3 REB 2 STL

Even before the pyrotechnics that put an exclamation point on the victory, Dudley had provided the Suns with his usually solid and consistent effort. Leave it to Jared to pad his stats in garbage time.

Comments of the Game:

"The Bee has stung!" (Why does this sound familiar?)

Hahahahaha Oh Al...

------------------------------------

Keef unstoppable! oops, fouled out. damn refs


The Good:

The Suns played parsimonious defense and mostly held the Kings in check after a quick start. The Kings managed just 37.4% from the field on 34-91 shooting. What did those missed shots result in?

Rebounding opportunities, which the Suns capitalized on. The Suns dominated the boards 58-46. That's +12. Go Suns. The four horsemen went for 40 all by themselves. What did grabbing all those missed shots by the Kings lead to?

Fast break points. Lots of them. The Suns doubled up on the hapless Kings and held a 32-16 advantage. The Suns took the track meet to a Sacramento squad on the second night of a back to back.

This is already reminiscent of last season, winning games with defense, rebounding and fast breaking. Birds of a feather.

The Bad:

After an effective start, coach Keith Smart decided to rest DeMarcus Cousins for the remainder of the evening. This deprived the Suns bigs of an opportunity to test their mettle against the Kings' centerpiece as well as the Suns' fans of getting a chance to watch the only redeeming quality on a barely passable Sacramento roster. We'll all see Cousins again, but until then... Get Smart.

Markieff Morris would have been the player of the game with his impressive stat line, but instead ends up here due to fouling out in 21 minutes. Morris made an impact on the game when he was on the floor, with 14 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals, but he needs to learn to limit the fouls so he doesn't play his way out of games where he's an asset on the floor. Good game Morris, but watch the fouls.

The Ugly:

The only ugly was the first couple minutes of the game that saw the Suns play sloppy, uninspired basketball. They quickly righted the ship, though, and the rest was smooth sailing.


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The Sacramento Kings come into Phoenix tonight on a high note. They just finished off the mighty (on paper) Los Angeles Lakers last night on a 10-0 game-ending run in the final 2 minutes against the entire projected Laker starting lineup. Kobe Bryant missed a couple of hero shots and Nash missed a floater in the lane while the Kings pounded the ball inside on the back of DeMarcus Cousins.

The Kings are now 5-1 in preseason, with one of those wins coming against the Suns in Sacramento. They are outscoring their opponent by 5 points per game, currently 5th overall in preseason scoring at 101.80 points per game. Yet despite their seemingly obvious advantage on the boards, the Kings are only 21st in rebounds per game (compared to the Suns' 11th-ranked rate of 43.25).

The Suns are 2-2 themselves, already matching the most preseason wins they've had in years after only four games (2-6 in 2010 and 0-2 in 2011). In addition to rebounding, the Suns are scoring well (8th overall) at 99.25 ppg, outshooting and out-assisting their opponents on average each night.

Sure, it's only preseason. The Suns and Kings will both face tougher competition once the season starts for real. But winning is winning. It builds confidence, especially on a roster with more new players than incumbents.

We don't know yet what Alvin Gentry has in store for distribution of minutes tonight. On one hand, it's only game 5 of preseason and he still has to decide which backup big man to keep among Ike Diogu, Luke Zeller and Solomon Jones.

On the other hand, it's a home game and you always want to please the crowd who paid good money to watch their team. I'm rooting for the latter.

BSotS' own Dave King will be at the game tonight, so watch twitter and BSotS for pregame notes, in-game notes and a late-night indepth postgame recap replete with quotes from Gentry and the guys.

Let's hope they're all in a good mood after a Suns win!


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The Phoenix Suns all-star forward/center was involved in many NBA trade rumors leading up to his eventual departure as a free agent in 2010. This report comes straight from Ray Allen who claims he was part of deal that would have moved him and point guard Rajon Rondo to the Suns in return for Stoudemire, Leandro Barbosa and the Suns 14th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

The story does not specify why the deal didn't happen.

Green doesn’t matter to Miami Heat’s Ray Allen - Miami Heat - MiamiHerald.com

Allen sat down for three separate one-on-one interviews — with The Miami Herald, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post — on Thursday to clear the air well before the season opener. He said the friction with Rondo began in 2009 when Rivers and Celtics president Danny Ainge proposed a trade that would have sent Allen and Rondo to Phoenix for Amare Stoudemire, Leandro Barbosa and the 14th overall pick in the 2010 draft.

Stoudemire was also almost dealt in a trade involving the Boston Celtics in 2007. That move would have brought Kevin Garnett to the Suns from Minnesota with Stoudemire going to Atlanta and Shawn Marion to the Celtics. The deal was reportedly nixed when Marion refused to give Boston assurances that he would sign an extension to remain a Celtic.


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Scouts are always an interesting source of outside perspective on your team. They are paid to watch and assess basketball and therefor generally should be regarded as dudes with something to say that you might want to listen to (aka DWSTSTYMWTLT).

This scout dude had some very interesting things to say about the Suns when he spoke to Fox Sports Arizona's Randy Hill. The mystery scout, who for obvious reasons didn't share his name with us, agrees with Alvin Gentry's approach for revising the offense. He confirmed what we've been seeing regarding Michael Beasley's unselfish play; discussed how the Corner offense is a good fit for Goran Dragic; and talked about Marcin Gortat's role in this system.

Perhaps most interesting, however, was scout dude's assessment of Markieff Morris. He noted Morris' increased confidence and aggressiveness but worries that it might go too far.

Scout: Suns are 'who we thought they were'

"To be fair," the scout said, "I’ve seen him not convert some relatively easy chances after making a couple of really nice moves in the lane. You don’t want to discourage him from expanding his game ... but if you’re the Suns, you don’t want experimentation to hurt their plus-minus when he’s in the game."

Give this entire story a read.

My take: Morris should be aggressive. I'd rather have him taking those shots in the paint than Wesley Johnson jacking up excessive threes or Shannon Brown going to his "Kobe mode". But, at the same time, if Morris is going to continue shooting at a 7-28 rate then he will obviously need to dial it back.

Of course, shooting percentages and shot selection in the preseason aren't necessarily indicative of what will happen when the games start counting for reals. Guys often are playing on dead legs in the preseason since morning shootarounds can be more like full-on practices this time of the year. Morris is a smart guy, he's not going to suddenly turn into Monta Ellis. But scout dude gave us something else to keep an eye on...so we will.

Poll
Are you concerned about Markieff Morris being too aggressive?

  172 votes | Results


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