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More photos » Jim Urquhart - AP
Chill is always a bright spot. (AP Photo/Jim Urquhart)
Unlike some NBA box scores, this one is all you need to look at to assess what happened:
Overall, this was a typical preseason game -- typically slow, typically ugly. The usual suspects showed up and played fairly well. Of the starters, only Turkoglu and Lopez played in the second half:
As for the rest:
We all knew that the preseason would be a test to see who meshes with whom and who would pick up time in the rotation, so this game wasn't too disturbing in my humble opinion. But it's the same stuff we all worried about weeks ago that is haunting the Suns: defense and rebounding. Gani Lawal didn't play until garbage time, so his role of Amundsonesque guy is still a TBD. But when JRich outrebounds Hedo and Lopez, you get a little nervous. And perhaps if Lopez plays 35 minutes, he picks up 10, and if Grant Hill plays 25+ he picks up 5-7. We can only hope Frye will pick up 5 boards, and Dudley will get his as well (he sat this one out).
If I'm Alvin Gentry, Lon Babby and or Lance Blanks, I'm thinking of either keeping Siler around as insurance if Lawal can't pull it together or I'm looking for another dirtworker, because what the Suns have right now won't hack it.
Janning is not serviceable as a backup and Dowdell appears to have the edge. At least he can drain a shot and run the offense for 5-7 minutes if need be. But is it worth paying Dowdell to sit on the bench with Dragic, Hill, and Turkoglu around that could conceivably run an offense in an emergency? I don't think so.
What concerns me about Siler were the nonexistent picks he set and how C.J. Miles got up higher than him on a jump ball. Siler plods about, and while he takes up space and seems capable to hang with the big boys, he doesn't have the Lopez aggressiveness that could make a difference. The fact that Miles tied him up to begin with is kind of ridiculous. I suppose there's Dwayne Jones around still, right?
Feel free to discuss
**As an aside, if you are wondering about D-League rules, here's an article that may help, courtesy of the ever-handy and consistently communicative Alex Laugan.