Bright Side of The Kicking Ass And Taking Names

You know me ... always humble. But 3rd? That's pretty damn awesome, considering the company we are in.

Of course, it's a team effort. That's how we roll in the PHX. So thanks, everyone!


Detailed Suns Player Evals - Suns/Kings 10/5 - Courtesy Of Pick and Scroll

Big, Huge THANKS to Akis at Pick And Scroll.

He attended the game on a Kings press pass, and was kind enough to review all of the Suns players from Tuesday night's game.

This stuff is gold for those starved for Suns news. Also, check out Akis' other work on Pick And Scroll - he's writes some mighty good NBA content.

Highlights from last night's reviews: JRich rocked, Lopez was good and bad, Dragic needs to chill, Janning apparently doesn't even exist in some circles, and... oh, Earl...


The worst thing one can do when evaluating a preseason game is to just glance at the final score. So “Kings 109, Suns 95” doesn’t do this one justice. The Kings played this one with...

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The good news is this game, like the rest of the preseason, means nothing. Nothing at all. The bad news is the Phoenix Suns were outscored by 22 points in the second half by the Sacramento Kings en route to a 109-95 defeat.

Steve Nash and Grant Hill combined to play 8 minutes, while Gani Lawal and Channing Frye did not play at all. 

If you are pushing the panic button, I recommend Valium, yoga, or some Zen breathing exercises.

The Suns trotted out a lineup of Nash, Richardson, Lopez, Turkoglu and Hill. The starting unit, along with Josh Childress, Hakim Warrick, and Dwayne Jones, jumped out to a an 11 point lead and appeared in total command of the game until the end of the quarter, as the Suns amassed 6 turnovers. Still, they held on to a 31-26 lead.

Nash and Hill would not return for the rest of the game. But Jason Richardson added 8 points and Robin Lopez 5 in the second to lead the Suns to a 58-51 halftime lead. Cold shooting, turnovers and fouls plagued the Suns in the third, as the Kings went on a 14-4 run and eventually tied the game up going into the fourth quarter.

To summarize things quickly and easily, the Suns sounded like they were tired in the final 12 minutes as Tyreke Evans scored 10 points during a 20-6 that put the Kings up for good. 

To emphasize once again, this was a preseason game. Still, there were some areas of concern, if you want to get concerned over an early October contest:

  • The Suns committed 23 turnovers resulting in 25 King points.
  • The Suns were out-rebounded 47-36.
  • The Suns shot 2-16 from 3-point range.
  • Hedo Turkoglu went 0-5 from the field in 16 minutes of play.
  • Goran Dragic committed 6 turnovers in 25 minutes, dished out 1 (one) assist and logged a -24.
  • The Suns scored 6 fast break points.
  • The Suns allowed 50 points in the paint.

Ugly.

 

Of course there were bright spots:

  • Robin Lopez played 31 minutes, scored 15, added 6 boards and 2 blocks while committing only 2 fouls. The fact that he produced without pain (or looking as though he was in pain) is a major victory.
  • Jason Richardson went for 17 and 5 and shot just over 50% from the field (6-11).
  • Josh Childress played efficiently, scoring 6 points, grabbing 5 rebounds and dishing 3 assists and adding a steal in 19 minutes of play.
  • Jared Dudley went 5-8 from the field for 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks.
  • Matt Janning sounded as if he played a fairly aggressive game, adding 8 points in 21 minutes.

Commentary:

I won't insult anyone's intelligence here by jumping to any insane conclusions. This game was full of auditions (Dwayne Jones and Chucky Atkins playing 17 minutes); meanwhile, some needed inside help in the form of Garret Siler and Gani Lawal did not play at all. My master-of-the-obvious skills tell me there is a game in Vancouver tomorrow and, as we all know, this preseason is a grand experiment that will determine the regular season rotation (at the outset only, of course), and running minutes off the bodies of Steve Nash and 38 year old Grant Hill makes no sense at all.

It is a bit disturbing, though, to see our Phoenix Suns shoot 2-16 from beyond the arc and get crushed in rebounding differential, but as I noted above, I think we were dealing with some tired legs and lack of dirtworkers. Expect less JRich tomorrow, more of Canada's favorite son, old man Hill, and the beast of Lawal to be unveiled.

Rest soundly, Suns fans. We'll catch you here tomorrow.


Photo

Barry Gossage - NBAE/Getty Images

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Lets get this party started!

Don't forget to check out a couple previews:

Three Storylines For The Suns/Kings Preseason Game Tonight - Bright Side Of The Sun
Yet all those developments will likely have zero impact on the regular season rotation. That's the nature of the first preseason game. But there ARE storylines. There's always a couple good storylines.

Phoenix Suns Open Preseason At Sacramento Kings, 7:00 P.M. AZT - SB Nation Arizona
Being the first preseason game, you normally wouldn't expect much and by all means the score should be ignored. But this preseason has additional importance for the Suns, who have a lot of work to do before getting ready for the 2010-11 NBA season schedule to kickoff on October 26 in Portland.

Here's a list of goals for the Suns in the preseason:

And be sure to stop by and visit Sactown Royalty and wish them best of luck this season. I think they are going to be a much improved team.


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