If you viewed this game as an NBA fan, you may have been entertained. As a Suns fan, it was just painful to watch the Phoenix Suns lose 101-90 to the Cleveland Cavaliers while allowing strong rookie PG Kyrie Irving to predictably torch the Suns for a Cavs season-high 26 points to go along with 6 assists.
The Suns' offense, as has become the standard this year, was spread out equally among a number of players, with 6 guys scoring between 10 and 16 points. Michael Redd came out Redd-hot (sorry), hitting his first two 3-pointers in the first quarter to chants of "MICHAEL REDD IS GOD" and other ridiculous things from the BSoTS Game Threads.
Unfortunately, the Suns' defense gave the Cavaliers a little boost in their power rankings, allowing Kyrie Irving to drive the lane at will and slacking off of one of the best three-point shooting teams in the NBA so far this year. It was a game that the Suns were "supposed" to win, but we all know that that means nothing, and has in fact been an area of weakness for Suns teams in the past.
The Cavs looked young and fast tonight, and the Phoenix Suns looked simultaneously like an aging squad and a young, inexperienced one.
The Suns lost the rebounding battle 39-47 and gave up 17 rebounds to Anderson Varejao, the other floppy-haired guy, and allowed the Cavs to shoot over 52% from three. It's quite difficult to win when you give those two categories away.
Click the jump for Game Notes and the RollCall!
Michael Redd was surprisingly in-tune in his Suns debut. He hit his first two threes early, followed shortly by a nice hook shot in the paint before he subbed out. It's apparent that he;s not totally in game shape yet, but that;s to be expected. Neither is Grant Hill.
Speaking of, what has been going on with Grant Hill? He only played for 7 minutes in this game mostly due to a bloody nose, but he hasn't looked like himself all year. I'd love to give Grant a lot of slack, but the Suns really need him to step up and start being his old perimeter defender self.
Michael Redd was more than we could have hoped for in his debut, with 12 points, most of which were scored early in the game. Later in the second half, he got tired and started missing short on shots, but I expect that to be remedied with improved conditioning and more practice.
Shannon Brown. What to say? He played more minutes (27) than any other bench player in this game, and he remains his usual inconsistent self. He looked really confident earlier in the game and was hitting outside shots, but he's been the definition of a streaky player, ending with 11 points on 3-9 shooting. Shannon is known for his fast-break abilities, but due to the dire lack of rebounding, he just hasn;t gotten the chance and has been forced to become a jump-shooter.
Robin Lopez looked pretty good in his 5 minutes in this game, notching 2 blocks. Wait, he only played 5 minutes? Lopez will continue to have issues getting playing time behind C Marcin Gortat, who is playing consistently at a high level and is currently 4th in All-Star voting (go vote for him now!). It's reminiscent of the situation Marcin was in before coming to Phoenix, when he was stuck behind Dwight Howard in the Magic's depth chart.
Phoenix Suns Fall To Kyrie Irving's Cavaliers, 101-90 - SB Nation Arizona
"The game was on the boards and we did a poor job on the boards and that's something we've got to take care of," Alvin Gentry said. "I told the guys that here's a team that shoots 43 percent against us and finds a way to win the game and that shouldn't be the case."
The answer Dudley gives about the rebounding is very interesting:
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