Hornets @ Suns Friday game thread 12-29-2023

Cheesebeef

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I was at game two. Everyone left the stadium in good spirits!
Normally pessimistic Cheese was telling all his friends we were finally winning it, tried to convince one of his best friends from high school who disowned the Suns for a decade that he needed to fly back to be here for a game 5 to celebrate and proclaimed that CP3 immediately made himself the greatest Arizona sports figure ever.

I saw absolutely no way possible for us to lose. CHEESE GUARANTEED A TITLE.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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It's the defense. They switch despite having not elite athletes. They also go under screens. Here is where we miss Ayton for all his flaws.

Guys switch or go under screens and it leads to clean 3 point looks.
We also have our corner defenders leaning way into the lane because our perimeter defenders can’t stop penetration which leaves the corner 3 WIDE open. Our guys lean far too far into the paint.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Any win is a good win right now.

But two concerns:

14 turnovers. Better than 20. But still more than double the turnovers of our opponent. And again throwing the ball to no one and for the second game in a row we saved a ball under our basket directly to an opposing player for an easy dunk.

We have to start cutting KD and book’s minutes. In two games against the rockets and hornets KD played 41 and 39 minutes. Not good.
 

clyde2tw

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Any win is a good win right now.

But two concerns:

14 turnovers. Better than 20. But still more than double the turnovers of our opponent. And again throwing the ball to no one and for the second game in a row we saved a ball under our basket directly to an opposing player for an easy dunk.

We have to start cutting KD and book’s minutes. In two games against the rockets and hornets KD played 41 and 39 minutes. Not good.
Nurk was the culprit in both scenarios. Our game focus is not always there. Allen and Metu relaxed a bit on rotation and boom they hit the 3s. At least Vogel called timely TOs to sub out Metu and instruct Allen to pressure Rozier closer. But at least the coaches are aware of those problems and we are making team effort to get better.
 

clyde2tw

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Our offense is working now. We move the ball and the ball handler make decisions a lot quicker now. Beal and Saben drives into the paint are more forceful than others that resulted in open shots overall, despite both not scoring themselves much. Book back to not holding the ball too long and thus shooting a lot better than in previous games where he was supposed to be the "PG" and seemingly got tired and burdened by that. When we make quick decisions on O, then everybody seem to move more for easier passes by the ball handlers. KD came to life with his assists and shooting efficiency, 27ast with only 2 TOs. We need to see how we fare against better D, but Beal will get back his shooting touches soon too.
 

Phrazbit

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Any win is a good win right now.

But two concerns:

14 turnovers. Better than 20. But still more than double the turnovers of our opponent. And again throwing the ball to no one and for the second game in a row we saved a ball under our basket directly to an opposing player for an easy dunk.

We have to start cutting KD and book’s minutes. In two games against the rockets and hornets KD played 41 and 39 minutes. Not good.

My consolation with the minutes is that the defensive effort and transition running has been minimal, these guys are not exactly busting their butts... but that in and of itself is part of the reason why these guys are playing heavy minutes.

If they can string together 4 or 5 games with a, somewhat, set rotation, the turnovers need to drop off dramatically. I can chalk some of the sloppiness up to unfamiliarity but a big chunk of these are just floated passes or trying to do bounce passes through multiple defenders.

Gordon loves to get caught in no mans land, Booker makes some lazy cross court passes, Allen likes to throw it to no one and Durant does all the above. These dudes are supposed to be the trusted, ball handling vets on this roster and they all need to tighten up.
 

1982baskets

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Shot the ball really well from 3, this helped. Didn't play particularlty well at the start, and the defense leaves a lot to be desired.

Having a top 6 like Book, KD, Beal, Nurk, Grayson and Gordon makes this team playoff worthy, but you can see that core just isn't big enough on the perimeter. Like the coaches are giving Azubuike and Lee some run, Metu as well. We have a lot of veteran minimum players, something like 9 players. So we need to figure out who can be part of a NBA rotation on a good team.
 

Yuma

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Shot the ball really well from 3, this helped. Didn't play particularlty well at the start, and the defense leaves a lot to be desired.

Having a top 6 like Book, KD, Beal, Nurk, Grayson and Gordon makes this team playoff worthy, but you can see that core just isn't big enough on the perimeter. Like the coaches are giving Azubuike and Lee some run, Metu as well. We have a lot of veteran minimum players, something like 9 players. So we need to figure out who can be part of a NBA rotation on a good team.
I was impressed by Metu's perimeter D on the three point line. He didn't let guys just buzz past him as a big, but yet he played up on them so they couldn't get the shot off. He's more nimble than he looks.
 

CardsSunsDbacks

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You aren't alone. I was 99.9% sure he'd be the 5th starter. Maybe he'd come off the bench for smaller matchup purposes when Grayson or Gordon started in his place but he was easily going to be that guy in 80%+ of the games he played in. He looked rocky in preseason but he started pulling it together towards the end but I think those were just good games by him rather than stepping up. He's been pedestrian more often than not.

I'm not sold on Vogel either but I don't blame KBD on him. He had opportunities, he never stepped up.
In hindsight he did struggle to earn all that big of a role on one of the worst teams in the league last season. That should have been more of a red flag, but I think we overlooked it because of his measurables and 3P% last season.
 

Hoop Head

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In hindsight he did struggle to earn all that big of a role on one of the worst teams in the league last season. That should have been more of a red flag, but I think we overlooked it because of his measurables and 3P% last season.

He was on a bad team but well coached. Pop is the ultimate tough love coach. He makes players earn time throughout the season, regardless of record. Tre Jones is an example of that as he'd be a starter on a number of teams but is coming off the bench in San Antonio right now, not because they have a better PG either. They start Sochan at PG to develop his play making as a forward. Since he's Pop though and arguably the best basketball coach of all time, he's rarely questioned.
 

CardsSunsDbacks

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He was on a bad team but well coached. Pop is the ultimate tough love coach. He makes players earn time throughout the season, regardless of record. Tre Jones is an example of that as he'd be a starter on a number of teams but is coming off the bench in San Antonio right now, not because they have a better PG either. They start Sochan at PG to develop his play making as a forward. Since he's Pop though and arguably the best basketball coach of all time, he's rarely questioned.
That's the point though, he wasn't able to earn more than 21 MPG on a miserable team. That is a red flag if you are expecting him to be able to earn a big role on a team that has championship aspirations.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Nurk was the culprit in both scenarios. Our game focus is not always there. Allen and Metu relaxed a bit on rotation and boom they hit the 3s. At least Vogel called timely TOs to sub out Metu and instruct Allen to pressure Rozier closer. But at least the coaches are aware of those problems and we are making team effort to get better.
No. Allen did it in the rockets game. Nurk was last night.
 

Hoop Head

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That's the point though, he wasn't able to earn more than 21 MPG on a miserable team. That is a red flag if you are expecting him to be able to earn a big role on a team that has championship aspirations.

Have you looked at the Spurs and how they distributed playing time? They had 14 players averaging 20+ minutes a night. Only 2 of those averaged over 30. KBD started in 42 of 67 games and he wasn't the only starter who averaged around that many minutes, Zack Collins saw 22.9 minutes and Branham at 23.5 minutes. Ive never seen a team distribute playing time so evenly. KBD wasn't a centerpiece like Vassell or Keldon Johnson so he saw the same minutes as virtually everyone else.

https://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/SAS/2023.html
 

Proximo

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Any win is a good win right now.

But two concerns:

14 turnovers. Better than 20. But still more than double the turnovers of our opponent. And again throwing the ball to no one and for the second game in a row we saved a ball under our basket directly to an opposing player for an easy dunk.

We have to start cutting KD and book’s minutes. In two games against the rockets and hornets KD played 41 and 39 minutes. Not good.
Won’t be an issue once bel gets up to speed.
 

clyde2tw

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No. Allen did it in the rockets game. Nurk was last night.
Nurk had one out-of-bound ball saved right into other team's player for easy layup, AND one side pass to Allen without seeing Allen was already gone. In general, we just make a lot of mechanical passes without proper assessing the situation that lead to TOs.
 

Yuma

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Me too! It was the last game I’ve attended at the arena.
Ironically, I believe the next game I attended the Washington Wizards game where Beal almost single handedly beat us in the fourth quarter. When he announced he wanted to come to Phoenix, I was like, Hell Yah!!
 

clyde2tw

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Ironically, I believe the next game I attended the Washington Wizards game where Beal almost single handedly beat us in the fourth quarter. When he announced he wanted to come to Phoenix, I was like, Hell Yah!!
I remember that game. Beal was shooting like 2/15 before the 4th and then torn our paint apart in the 4th.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Nurk had one out-of-bound ball saved right into other team's player for easy layup, AND one side pass to Allen without seeing Allen was already gone. In general, we just make a lot of mechanical passes without proper assessing the situation that lead to TOs.
Ah got it. Yeah, both were atrocious. It’s crazy lack of awareness that leads to so many of the careless turnovers and it’s like everyone on the court playing significant minutes making them.
 

Dr. Jones

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I was at game two. Everyone left the stadium in good spirits!

Me too! It was the last game I’ve attended at the arena.

I was at games 3 and 4. Flew in about as excited as I have ever felt. Left devastated.

Still.... I wouldn't trade that trip for any other in my life. And I hope I get to do it again someday.
 

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