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.
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:
Of course there were bright spots:
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.
Barry Gossage - NBAE/Getty Images
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.
More photos » Rick Scuteri - AP
Go get em tonight, Earl! (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Those of us in the Valley can listen to the game on KTAR, but that's not going to happen in my house. No matter though. We will learn very little about the Suns from tonight's game.
Some guys' minutes will be higher than expected, some will be lesser.
Matt Janning will make more than half his shots, and we'll collectively have dreamy visions of an all-Luke-Skywalker backcourt of Dragic and Janning.
Earl Clark will make some shots, and miss some others and we'll be wondering what the misses looked like more than the makes.
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.
Since we can't watch the game, we'll have rely on the boxscore and second-hand reports from local reporters.
Storyline #1 -
Earl Clark will likely get some serious run tonight, for a few reasons. (1) He's talented player who needs time on the court to sort out his niche, (2) he's the most prototypical PF on the roster, with decent potential in all areas, and (3) in the worst case scenario, the Suns need to showcase him for potential inclusion in a trade later this season.
I've heard what Phoenix reporters think of Earl. What interests me is the postgame review on sactownroyalty.com, to see if Earl made an impression. If he plays 30 minutes but gets no mention outside Phoenix, that will be telling. Conversely, if he gets kudos, that's a plus.
Storyline #2 -
Dwayne Jones vs. Garret Siler. I'm curious who will get more minutes. I think Jones will pull down more rebounds, while Siler will score more points. But in my mind, which player gets more minutes could be telling.
If Siler gets significantly more run, in my mind it's not really a slight on Jones as much as an extended evaluation of Siler. Siler must not have convinced them enough in training camp to have made a decision yet.
If Jones get significantly more run, then that's a death nell for Siler. Jones is the "known" quantity. So if he's getting a lot more minutes than Siler, Gentry has moved past the eval phase and onto the "who can Jones play with, if given regular season minutes?"
Storyline #3 -
I'm not feeling the 3 possible backup-to-the-backup PGs on the roster. How can all of them get minutes in a real game?
I'm thinking Gentry will give each of them (Janning, Atkins, Dowdell) one game each of good run with the second or third unit, just to see what happens.
The question is who gets first dibs on the "real" minutes, those played with actual rotation players. My guess is Matt Janning.
So, those are my storylines from tonight. What do YOU want to see?