Robin Lopez stares in disbelief. We lost to these guys?

The Phoenix Suns opened their season with a rough loss to the New Orleans Hornets tonight, 85-84. Scoring 84 points will simply not get it done for this Suns team, and impressive performances from Robin Lopez and Marcin Gortat plus 12 assists from Steve Nash weren't enough for the Suns to beat a Hornets team that isn't exactly a contender. This was a hard loss to swallow.

Robin Lopez led the Suns with 21 points and looked like the team's best player tonight. The Hornets' Eric Gordon was 0-6 from 3, but made a cold-blooded jumper over Jared Dudley for the game-winner. On the subsequent possession, the Suns turned the ball over before getting a shot off.

Lopez was a bright spot for the Suns, along with Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat, but the Suns made only 40% of their FGs and 20% of their 3s. Again, that simply won't get it done.

Jump it for more.

Notes

  • The Suns' bench did a decent job, but backup PG is the primary position of concern and Ronnie Price and Sebastian Telfair combined for 0 made FGs, 2 points, 2 assists and 1 rebound in 18 points of action. Ouch.
  • Meanwhile, Suns centers Robin Lopez and Marcin Gortat combined for 34 points and 12 rebounds in 48 minutes. The Suns big men are a strength and we can't shoot. What kind of world am I living in?
  • Markieff Morris scored only 7 points on 2-5 shooting but he gathered 9 rebounds in 25 minutes and looked active. A very nice debut for the rookie.
  • The Suns had only 2 starters in double figure scoring and 3 players overall in double figures. This is the Phoenix Suns?
  • Channing Frye did next to nothing and Morris was in the game down the stretch. Frye had 3 points and 4 rebounds in 23 minutes of play on 1-6 shooting. He didn't make a 3-point shot.
  • Really? We lost to the Chris Paul-less Hornets at home? Really?

Next game: Wednesday, December 28th vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 7PM MST


More postgame video with Gortat, Morris and Lopez can be found here.

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Came back in the 3rd quarter and took the lead. Now it's time to pull away and get this win!!!


Let's go!


The Suns are off to a pretty decent start, now it's time to get the lead and open it up.

2nd quarter...Let's do it!


Photo

Mmmm, new season smell. LET'S DO THIS!!!

[Note by Seth Pollack, 12/26/11 6:17 PM MST ]

Pregame notes from Alvin Gentry:

  • "Obviously, we're familiar with the players, we're just not familiar with them in this particular system." -- Gentry on playing new-look Hornets
  • Kaman, good post up guy. Gordon difficult cover, will average 20 playing on any team in the NBA. Great rebounding team. Will play slow and string out possessions.
  • Key to defending Gordon (similar to Kobe) is to keep him off the line and from getting easy points. Dudley will get primary assignment. Could see Dudley and Brown playing together.
  • Gentry seemed to be laying the ground work for moving Dudley to the bench -- "The thing that's so crazy about him is that you almost like to have him come in off the bench because he's such a utility guy. You can play him as a two, or a three or a four in certain situations. I just think he played so well (in camp) that he deserved to start and if we get to that point that it's better for our team or something like that, I could talk to him and I know that he's going to do what's best for the team. Right now, he's earned that spot and I think he deserves to be out there to start."
  • Can't control what they do tempo-wise but Suns will push but can't take bad shots.
  • Back up to Nash will be based on feel, fit, or how the game is going.
  • Gortat will play his normal rotation minutes. No limitations on what he can do.
  • Gentry watched some games on Christmas. What stood out was depth on the Clippers team and how scary good the Heat look: "Just the whole attitude that LeBron has and what he talked about, he talked about his failures and what he needs to do. That's really not a good thing for the rest of the league for a guy that talented to be that focused"

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Time: 7 p.m. MST TV: FSAZ The New Orleans Hornets could be battling this season just to keep their heads above water and out of the cellar in the Western Conference. But even after the Chris Paul...

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