Your recap of the week (plus) that was to bring you up to speed on the young season, wherein the Suns have scratched out just enough wins to allow time for the rotations to take shape.

Through seven games the Phoenix Suns are clearly in a transitional phase as they adjust to the new dynamic of a third quasi-star in the backcourt along with a reshaped frontcourt. The freewheeling fun factory of frenetic scoring on opening night seemed like it was eons ago before they were finally able to take advantage of a fatigued Golden State team, who weren't playing with a #fullsquad.

Between opening night and the second half of the Warriors game, the season has been a frustrating assortment of fleeting moments of cohesion mixed with prolonged periods of stagnation, resulting in the Suns only managing to break even against their Western foes. Right as they look to be finding their mojo, they suddenly become frozen in time while all momentum swings away from them.

By golly, they almost look like a basketball team going through some adjustments.

The 2013/14 team started out similarly. Both Dragic and Bledsoe missed games with minor injuries, and when they were both healthy they struggled through the nuances of sharing the backcourt with eachother. Luckily, the supporting cast led by P.J. Tucker showed enough grit and hustle to squeeze out enough wins through the first 20 games to stay afloat.

Despite being burdened with newfound expectations, they'll need to achieve the same feat this year. Jeff Hornacek has been given an assortment of shot-creators on offense and so far has ridden whatever hot hand he can find, but during cold spells there's no telling what kind of lineup you might see wearing the orange.

Dragic has been noticeably uncomfortable with finding his role and has yet to lead the team in scoring for a single game. The bench duo of Isaiah Thomas and Gerald Green has often been more productive than the original Slash Bros duo. The Suns still don't quite know what they have in the young Alex Len. The Morris twins, while consistent, probably have yet to find their best roles for this team. The play of Tucker is quickly creating a demand for more minutes than might be available.

These things will take time to sort out.

In the meantime, gutting out a too-close-for-comfort win on the road against the clueless Lakers and taking advantage of the #fullsquaders on a back-to-back might not be the kind of victories that define a team, but they're every bit as necessary.

Roundup (click the links for full recaps)

Oct 29 vs. LA Lakers, W 119-99

The Suns fired on every cylinder and Kobe had a typical Kobe game (31 points on 25 shots, a technical foul, plus one opposing player's lip bloodied).

Oct 31 vs. San Antonio Spurs, W 94-89

Some clutch play plus 23 points in 29 minutes for Isaiah Thomas led to an ugly win over the Spurs, who failed to inbound the ball in time on a potential game-tying possession.

Nov 1 @ Utah, L 118-91

The Suns were straight mollywhopped in their first road game, as the Jazz outscored them by 23 in the second half. Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors combined for more points (56) than the entire starting lineup for Phoenix (51).

Nov 4 @ LA Lakers, W 112-106

Markieff Morris led the way in another win against the Lakers in the friendly confines of the Staples Center. Kobe scored 39 but took 37 shots to get there, despite his claim that his ball-dominating tendencies are an "urban legend".

Nov 5 vs Memphis, L 102-91

The Grizzlies continued to play Mike Tyson to Phoenix's Peter McNeely, dominating the second half with ease. The only good news -- the two teams will only meet three times this season as opposed to four last year.

Nov 7 vs Sacramento, L 114-112 (2OT)

The second straight loss at home came in miserable fashion. The good guys squandered leads in the fourth quarter plus both overtimes before the Kings finally edged out the win. Is 11 fourth-quarter points bad? It sounds bad.

Nov 9 vs Golden State, W 105-97

A potentially embarrassing third straight loss at home was averted by the heroics of Thomas and Green, as both went nuclear and combined for 31 points in the 4th quarter.

The Shark Tank

The shark is always circling. Who has stayed afloat so far, and who has been bitten?

"Faster than sharks, so it's no big deal": Isaiah Thomas has been dazzling so far, posting a ridiculous .610 TS% and a 25.6 PER before his stellar performance versus Golden State. While the other guards have been struggling to pick their spots, Thomas' game is always the same -- he just produces. Don't bet on that shark to catch up anytime soon.

"We're gonna need a bigger boat": Anthony Tolliver is the unfortunate victim of the shark so far this season. While he has hit 40% of his threes, they have come on only 12 attempts due to his inability thus far to leave an impact on the court, culminating in a DNP-CD against Sacramento. With the depth on this roster, he'll have to find a groove quickly if he wants to steal a rotation spot. Plus we all know that the shark's favorite meal is stretch 4's.

Keep swimming, Anthony.

On The Horizon

  • Wednesday 11/12 vs. Brooklyn
  • Friday 11/14 vs. Charlotte
  • Saturday 11/15 @ LA Clippers

The Suns will get their first reprieve from the rugged Western Conference with a pair of home games versus Brooklyn and Charlotte before kicking off a six-game roadie in LA with a matchup against the Clippers.

Last year they dropped both games to the Nets including a heartbreaker at home via a last-second breakaway floater by Joe Johnson. On the flipside they won both games over Charlotte rather comfortably. This will be a good chance to get a bit of swagger going at home before hitting the road for nine days.

The Clippers are going through some early-season sputters of their own, and these two teams always seem to battle hard against eachother. Obviously kicking off the road trip with a win over a division rival would be quite the feather in the cap.

After their second double-digit comeback of the season, players were all smiles in the locker room.

PHOENIX — The Suns drafted one in 1986 and the other in 1988. That in itself was surprising. Neither Steve Kerr nor Jeff Hornacek were supposed to have the pro basketball careers they did, yet...

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PHOENIX — Gerald Green nearly left Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry at the three-point line after a switch, then, instead of switching ball when the ball went to the other side of the...

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A fellow media member coined the Chuck Wagon term for the Isaiah Thomas, Gerald Green second unit and it just has to stick. They ran and shot all over the Warriors in the fourth quarter to lead the Suns to a much-needed win.

The Phoenix Suns threatened to let another team come into the arena and beat them badly, but then the Chuck Wagon showed up (Isaiah Thomas, Gerald Green) and the show was over.

Green and Thomas scored 31 points in the fourth quarter alone, and the Suns beat the Warriors 107-95 after starting the 4th on a 34-12 run.


The game started with Markieff Morris and Draymond Green going at each other offensively. Markieff posting and Green shooting off the pick and rolls with Steph Curry. The Warriors needed Green, the team's only other double-digit scorer, to step up big with Klay Thompson out.

After an even start (6-6) the Warriors went on a run thanks to a bunch of missed long jumpers by the Morris brothers while the Warriors scored time after time on beautiful offense full of motion and passing. Steph Curry led the charge by accounting for 12 of the Warriors first 17 points on shooting (8) and assists.

The Suns came back after that by hitting some big shots - including two threes from Dragic - but Marcus Morris' third miss of an open shot solidified the need for a change to the second unit.

The Suns kept up with the Warriors in the first quarter by forcing some turnovers (and benefitting from some unforced ones), despite the Warriors shooting 55%. It helped that Goran had 13 points (3 threes) and two steals.

Suns down 30-28 after one.

In the second, the Warriors started well but then the Suns came back to within 2 before starters began re-entering the game. Gerald Green was Gerald Green taking "what?" shots and making just one of them, while getting called for two traveling violations. Isaiah Thomas contributed his own carrying violation and two travelings as well. Not a very efficient start to the quarter, but the Suns kept it close because the Warriors were mixing incredible passing with egregious passing turnovers themselves.

The Warriors pulled away when Steph Curry came back in. He was clearly the best player on the court. And after Goran Dragic lit up the nets in the first quarter, he didn't even take a shot in the second. Andre Iguodala picked up the assignment to stick to Dragic, while they stayed small (and killed the Suns).

Marcus Morris had a particularly bad second quarter. And so did coach Jeff Hornacek. He was so mad at some non-calls that at one point toward the end of the half he just took off his jacket and walked off the court.

The Suns second quarter tally: 25% shooting, 8 turnovers vs. 4 field goals, 2 assists. The Warriors second quarter tally: 62.5% shooting, 5 turnovers vs. 10 field goals, 5 assists.

Steph Curry: 22 points, 7 assists, 4 steals AT HALFTIME.

Frankly, the Suns were lucky to be within 11 points at halftime (58-47).

The Suns came out much stronger and more aggressive in the second half, going for steals on the perimeter. The Suns didn't get any but the Warriors were a bit disrupted because of it. And the Suns were able to turn some of that fire into offensive success.

They pulled within 3 on a couple of timely three-pointers, but then went back to committing turnovers (3) while having bad defensive rotations and allowing open shots on the other end. So frustrating! The Warriors lead was quickly back to eight without even trying too hard.

The Suns were able to cut the lead down to five, while Markieff Morris drew consecutive shooting fouls. But he missed all four free throws. ALL FOUR.

In that third quarter, the Suns barely cut into the Warriors lead despite Steph Curry only taking two shots. Two. It's like the Warriors said "we can beat you without Steph, Klay or Lee." Ugh.

Warriors 79-71 after three.

But then something weird happened. The Warriors stopped playing well and the Suns started to hit shots. The Suns went on a quick 9-1 run to tie the game and the crowd finally had something to cheer about. Thomas, Green, Mook, Plumlee and Tucker.

The Suns kept the lead into the final 5 minutes, and Hornacek rewarded the group by keeping them in rather than go back to the starters.

IT even got Curry into foul trouble to further hurt the Warriors comeback chances. Thomas just kept working Curry into foul trouble.

Green kept taking crazy shots (and making some of them) and Isaiah Thomas was the best player on the court in the fourth quarter.

It's amazing what some energy can do.


Isaiah Thomas and Gerald Green combined to score 31 points IN THE FOURTH QUARTER ALONE. The entire Warriors team only scored 12 in that time.

Oh. My. God.

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