Playoffs: Suns @ Clippers Thursday game thread 4-20-2023 - Game 3

Superbone

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I'm starting to agree with Eric.

While Ayton is big and strong and fast for his size, he isn't explosive. You never see him blow by people with a quick burst. He just plays slow, especially on offense.
I think he can be. It's just that he's indecisive and non-aggressive.
 

82CardsGrad

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We agree. The result are not in for this year or next. As I have stated many times, this trade very well could be aa failure by the end of next year.

I also agree it’s fair for you to wonder what would have happened had we kept them.

IMO, it wouldn’t have gotten us anywhere for two reasons. Bridges wouldn’t be playing the same role he always did and you are depending on Monty to have utilized in correctly. Even then, I don’t think it was enough. Just my two cents.
Bridges was on his way to becoming a very good, 20+ per night #2 to Book. And Cam would’ve been a better option that Craig and Okogie…
But that still wouldn’t have been enough. We still need to replace Paul with a top-tier PG. We still need to enhance the bench. Just like we do right now… But what I like about the keep Bridges and Cam option is their youth. KD has a window that is slamming shut so damn fast…
 

82CardsGrad

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Omg y’all still thinking about what could’ve been even though we ran it back with the same squad and got blown out by Dallas at home?!! It’s over.
We just beat a team of old man Westbrick and a bunch of bench players… barely.
 

Covert Rain

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Bridges was on his way to becoming a very good, 20+ per night #2 to Book. And Cam would’ve been a better option that Craig and Okogie…
But that still wouldn’t have been enough. We still need to replace Paul with a top-tier PG. We still need to enhance the bench. Just like we do right now… But what I like about the keep Bridges and Cam option is their youth. KD has a window that is slamming shut so damn fast…
So for Craig has outperformed anything we got from Cam J in the starting lineup in the playoffs.

I agree we need to find a replacement for Paul. A couple of us have been saying that for two offseasons.

Again, I think the window with KD is this year and next. I don’t think we had a window with Bridges and Cam J. I think Book would have still needed a consitent and legit #2 to have a shot.
 

Hoop Head

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On this team no. Bridges has never averaged 26 in the playoffs. It took him being a main scorer on a bad team to accomplish that. Monty never would have utilize him any differently than he did before the trade.

Monty was utilizing him differently before he was traded. We didn't really get to see Booker and Mikal after Mikal filled in as the #1 scorer in Book's absence this season because as soon as Devin returned, Mikal was traded. So we started developing him into a primary option and in a way showcased him for Brooklyn. Once Ishbia took over there was no question of running it back, he made the KD deal. So we don't know how it could have turned out but I recall a lot of people saying we were now a legit contender and this was the move to bring a championship here but I'm not seeing a championship team. I'm seeing 1 star and 1 sidekick rather than 2 stars and the sidekick was supposed to be the superstar acquisition.
 

Covert Rain

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Monty was utilizing him differently before he was traded. We didn't really get to see Booker and Mikal after Mikal filled in as the #1 scorer in Book's absence this season because as soon as Devin returned, Mikal was traded. So we started developing him into a primary option and in a way showcased him for Brooklyn. Once Ishbia took over there was no question of running it back, he made the KD deal. So we don't know how it could have turned out but I recall a lot of people saying we were now a legit contender and this was the move to bring a championship here but I'm not seeing a championship team. I'm seeing 1 star and 1 sidekick rather than 2 stars and the sidekick was supposed to be the superstar acquisition.
Monty was dealing with injuries. Also, go back and watch those games. Bridges was not getting double teamed the vast majority of possessions during those games before the trade.
 

Cheesebeef

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For all the “window is only open this year and next” and then we’re looking at a vast wasteland forever, are you guys not paying attention to Devin Booker becoming a legit superstar in this league? A guy superstars already wanted to play with but now a guy who’s proving that superstardom in multiple playoffs?

I’m pretty confidence another Superstar is going to want to play with this guy once this run is over in the next two seasons and CP3’s deal will be gone and Ayton’s MAX deal will prob be used to swing another deal.
 

JCSunsfan

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You missed the point entirely. Nobody knew what Bridges could do until he became the main scorer on a bad team. He was never going to play that role here.
Lots of players can look really good as main scorers on bad teams. Being the main scorer on a winning team is more difficult.

The big problem with this team is not KD or even Ayton. It's CP3. Gotta get more out of a pg.

we miss Payne a lot. This bench would be a lot better with his energy. I think we have to replace CP3 this summer. Time for him to retire.
 

Hoop Head

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For all the “window is only open this year and next” and then we’re looking at a vast wasteland forever, are you guys not paying attention to Devin Booker becoming a legit superstar in this league? A guy superstars already wanted to play with but now a guy who’s proving that superstardom in multiple playoffs?

I’m pretty confidence another Superstar is going to want to play with this guy once this run is over in the next two seasons and CP3’s deal will be gone and Ayton’s MAX deal will prob be used to swing another deal.

And? That puts us right back to where we were only worse, with a star on his last legs getting overpaid but we'll have no assets to trade as in picks or young talent to bring a star here. This has been said many times. We were in much better shape pre-trade than post-trade. We pushed all our chips in to win now, not to retool in 2-3 years. We don't have the cap flexibility or draft capital to trade for another rebuild. It's championship or bust. A lot of us have been saying that for months now. Now it's turned into "Well, Booker is a star and he'll get us another star". It'll be a lot easier for him to be in the KD or CP3 role of saying "Send me there, I want to compete" because anyone close to his age we've had has been traded for guys chasing one last shot.
 

JCSunsfan

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There was someone that said he could be book. I don’t recall who, but there was one poster who said it.
I said that people in the East are going to start talking like he is right there with Book. I did NOT say he actually could be Book. I am assuming EC bias.

Listen. I love Mikal, but then there is reality.
 

JCSunsfan

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We said before this game that this is just the type of game the Suns let down on.

They let down, and they still won. If you would have offered me a five point win before the game, I would have taken it. Powell played out of his mind. Westbrook can be effective when he's basically a one man show. He can keep it close but he can't win a lot.

The Suns have played like they have less than ten games or so together as a group. Oh yeah.
 

Covert Rain

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And? That puts us right back to where we were only worse, with a star on his last legs getting overpaid but we'll have no assets to trade as in picks or young talent to bring a star here. This has been said many times. We were in much better shape pre-trade than post-trade. We pushed all our chips in to win now, not to retool in 2-3 years. We don't have the cap flexibility or draft capital to trade for another rebuild. It's championship or bust. A lot of us have been saying that for months now. Now it's turned into "Well, Booker is a star and he'll get us another star". It'll be a lot easier for him to be in the KD or CP3 role of saying "Send me there, I want to compete" because anyone close to his age we've had has been traded for guys chasing one last shot.
Where we were was a team without a title that collapsed twice, regressed last year and seemingly were regressing this year lacking any toughness or grit.
 

Hoop Head

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Where we were was a team without a title that collapsed twice, regressed last year and seemingly were regressing this year lacking any toughness or grit.

They would have assets to retool, a better core, and more flexibility. I disagree they collapsed twice. They exceeded expectations 2 years ago and fell short of a title no one even thought they'd realistically have a shot at. Last year they did collapse, we don't know why. That's debatable. We've been over that point many times. As far as having regressed this year, they had an excellent record when healthy but unfortunately they weren't healthy together that much. Who knows how the season would have ended though. We made the KD trade to increase our odds of winning a title this year and next and it doesn't look like we did, based on the limited time we've seen this squad play together now in the playoffs. However they'd have flexibility going forward because they'd have more depth, be less into the luxury tax, and have more draft picks.
 

Superbone

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Even with 12/11 this was one of the worst Ayton playoff games I can remember. His hands have been the worst I’ve ever seen from him this entire series. Shooting 4/8 at the free throw line and letting everyone score on him however they wanted. The clippers just pulled down his pants and made him their gimp.
Meanwhile, undersized Looney gets 20 boards with 9 offensive boards for the Warriors tonight in 31 minutes.
 

Phrazbit

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They would have assets to retool, a better core, and more flexibility. I disagree they collapsed twice. They exceeded expectations 2 years ago and fell short of a title no one even thought they'd realistically have a shot at. Last year they did collapse, we don't know why. That's debatable. We've been over that point many times. As far as having regressed this year, they had an excellent record when healthy but unfortunately they weren't healthy together that much. Who knows how the season would have ended though. We made the KD trade to increase our odds of winning a title this year and next and it doesn't look like we did, based on the limited time we've seen this squad play together now in the playoffs. However they'd have flexibility going forward because they'd have more depth, be less into the luxury tax, and have more draft picks.

Exactly.

Us having better odds, even this year, is suspect, and our ability to improve going forward is unquestionably, severely diminished.

They need KD find himself. I don't think Monty is holding him back... maybe in game 1 we didn't look to him enough late, but tonight he got the ball plenty. He did score a fair amount of points but he also had a lot of turnovers and some really really ugly shots. He's gotta start moving off the ball too. Do some little things to get open, maybe he was tired tonight but he was typically a statue when the ball wasn't in his hands.
 
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