Suns @ 76ers Saturday game thread, 11-4-2023

Phrazbit

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You've wanted Paul out of here since he got here, basically. I remember you crowing on about how the Suns would be foolish to retain him when he opted out his first year. Now he's the first defender you name that we should have kept?

Mikal is a loss, however I seem to recall you talking about his defense regressing the year he was dealt for KD when he had more of an offensive load.

We all know you have a man crush on Ayton. How well your Center defends on the perimeter isn't winning a championship anywhere. He was awful in the paint and often not invested mentally.

McGee and Biz? I seem to recall you regularly trashing McGee and ignoring Biz.

I'm not surprised you went negative now that Deandre is gone but I didn't expect you to go full on revisionist, ala 1Sun, to try and make the point we suck.

Ayton was actually really good at preventing the layup line we're seeing. He cuts off penetration before the rim and forces the offense to reset, it is something he does really really well.

Nurkic doesn't defend better than Ayton at any distance.

That said... Ayton quit on the team twice in two years, pretty unforgivable, but I wish we'd held off and tried to rehab his value under Vogel, instead of settling for a bunch of scraps.
 

Raindog

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Ayton was actually really good at preventing the layup line we're seeing. He cuts off penetration before the rim and forces the offense to reset, it is something he does really really well.

Nurkic doesn't defend better than Ayton at any distance.

That said... Ayton quit on the team twice in two years, pretty unforgivable, but I wish we'd held off and tried to rehab his value under Vogel, instead of settling for a bunch of scraps.
Agreed. Even if it was mutually decided both sides needed to move on, they really needed to do something to maximize what they could get for him. In fact, that should have begun at least a season ago.

But Monty (and maybe Jones, too) seemingly would rather get in pissing matches with the guys he didn't like than do what was for the greater good of the team. And the result was the Suns having to sell low.
 

Hoop Head

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Ayton was actually really good at preventing the layup line we're seeing. He cuts off penetration before the rim and forces the offense to reset, it is something he does really really well.

Nurkic doesn't defend better than Ayton at any distance.

That said... Ayton quit on the team twice in two years, pretty unforgivable, but I wish we'd held off and tried to rehab his value under Vogel, instead of settling for a bunch of scraps.

They're smack in the middle of defensive FG% allowed. Each are allowing their man to shoot slightly better against them vs the team as a whole. Nurkic is allowing FG% 0.7 higher than team average and Ayton is 0.4% higher. Nurkic has 16.2 shots taken against him and Ayton has 17.3. So I think they're pretty equal. That's what the stats say, at least.

Link for stats here....
 

Phrazbit

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They're smack in the middle of defensive FG% allowed. Each are allowing their man to shoot slightly better against them vs the team as a whole. Nurkic is allowing FG% 0.7 higher than team average and Ayton is 0.4% higher. Nurkic has 16.2 shots taken against him and Ayton has 17.3. So I think they're pretty equal. That's what the stats say, at least.

Link for stats here....

I've watched enough of them for years. Ayton, while frustrating, is a good defender, especially when it comes to helping against penetration, Ayton's biggest impact is far more about him rotating and helping against fast guys and preventing drive and kicks. Nurkic is stapled to the floor and cannot stay infront of hardly anyone. He is willing to push and shove more in the post but the only place that seems to make an impact is his propencity to committ fouls.
 

Hoop Head

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I've watched enough of them for years. Ayton, while frustrating, is a good defender, especially when it comes to helping against penetration, Ayton's biggest impact is far more about him rotating and helping against fast guys and preventing drive and kicks. Nurkic is stapled to the floor and cannot stay infront of hardly anyone. He is willing to push and shove more in the post but the only place that seems to make an impact is his propencity to committ fouls.

I watched Ayton for years also. I always thought his defense was overstated. He's not a rim protector and while he has good footwork and can stay in front of opponents on the perimeter he'd never really disrupt their shot. He'd meekly put his hand in their face at the last second. Even when it was guys he had 8-10" on and could easily block their shot if he raised his arms or jumped.

On the occasions when someone got past him, he'd stand there dejected rather than chase them down. That was usually a once a game occurrence, more when he was checked out mentally.

Then there were the times he'd completely ignore a driving man from the other side of the key because he was "guarding" his assignment. He'd almost never provide help.

I'm not saying Nurkic is a great defender by any means. He's adequate or average at best. On offense he's an improvement over Ayton. Throw in Allen and Little and we came out ahead because honestly expecting more than average from Ayton in any game often led to disappointment. We should have sold high after the finals run. Maybe that was too soon but at least by the following trade deadline when we didn't extend him and knew the relationship became tainted. Ever since then his value has been over inflated by Suns fans expecting some team to trade a good C prospect or solid veteran plus 2 more rotation players, at minimum, with 1 being a Sixth Man or a temp starter. Why would any team do that though? When trading position for position, youre going to have to take back a lesser player at that position and we did get 2 those additional players, Little being more fringe rotation but Allen being a legit Sixth Man/Temp Starter. Sucks that all we got for #1 overall pick in a loaded draft but no one can be blamed for the return outside of Ayton, really. He's the one who tanked his value.
 

Vacard

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I think the lack of leadership from Chris Paul is hurting this team. Remember how terrible we were prior to his trade.
 

Phrazbit

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I watched Ayton for years also. I always thought his defense was overstated. He's not a rim protector and while he has good footwork and can stay in front of opponents on the perimeter he'd never really disrupt their shot. He'd meekly put his hand in their face at the last second. Even when it was guys he had 8-10" on and could easily block their shot if he raised his arms or jumped.

On the occasions when someone got past him, he'd stand there dejected rather than chase them down. That was usually a once a game occurrence, more when he was checked out mentally.

Then there were the times he'd completely ignore a driving man from the other side of the key because he was "guarding" his assignment. He'd almost never provide help.

I'm not saying Nurkic is a great defender by any means. He's adequate or average at best. On offense he's an improvement over Ayton. Throw in Allen and Little and we came out ahead because honestly expecting more than average from Ayton in any game often led to disappointment. We should have sold high after the finals run. Maybe that was too soon but at least by the following trade deadline when we didn't extend him and knew the relationship became tainted. Ever since then his value has been over inflated by Suns fans expecting some team to trade a good C prospect or solid veteran plus 2 more rotation players, at minimum, with 1 being a Sixth Man or a temp starter. Why would any team do that though? When trading position for position, youre going to have to take back a lesser player at that position and we did get 2 those additional players, Little being more fringe rotation but Allen being a legit Sixth Man/Temp Starter. Sucks that all we got for #1 overall pick in a loaded draft but no one can be blamed for the return outside of Ayton, really. He's the one who tanked his value.

I just gotta disagree, at least with the Nurkic comparison.

Nurkic is a marginally better passer and maaaaybe better on the glass, Ayton is better at everything else and by a very significant margin. He sets better screens, he's more efficient at shooting, he's better defending inside and out. The defending, especially when defending screens and switches, there is no comparison. Ayton is one of the best bigs in the league at defending screens and switches, Nurkic is flat out terrible when forced to.

Nurkic just isn't very good. He is a below average starter and I think whoever had the idea that Nurkic was the dude worth holding out for made a big mistake.
 

95pro

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I just gotta disagree, at least with the Nurkic comparison.

Nurkic is a marginally better passer and maaaaybe better on the glass, Ayton is better at everything else and by a very significant margin. He sets better screens, he's more efficient at shooting, he's better defending inside and out. The defending, especially when defending screens and switches, there is no comparison. Ayton is one of the best bigs in the league at defending screens and switches, Nurkic is flat out terrible when forced to.

Nurkic just isn't very good. He is a below average starter and I think whoever had the idea that Nurkic was the dude worth holding out for made a big mistake.

About the screens, Kd Allen and Gordon are doing a bad job of initiating the offense and getting the right angle for Big Nurk to set screens. Seems like the defenders are blitzing the double before it it happens leading to bad screens.
 
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Mainstreet

Mainstreet

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The elbow to Nurkic by Embiid is looking more and more like a flagrant 2 after additional replay.

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nashman

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I’ll take Nurk and Eubanks over Ayton honestly they give the effort! And Nurk is a far superior passer and playmaker and just ball handling in general. And Eubanks gives us some speed if we want to play fast and Nurk gives us the size against some of the bigs we will face. Not sad at all and then you throw in Allen on top of Nurk and Drew it’s a no brainer…
 

AzStevenCal

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I think the lack of leadership from Chris Paul is hurting this team. Remember how terrible we were prior to his trade.
That team that went into the bubble was far different than they had been prior. Adding CamP and getting Saric healthy and in shape made a big difference. That team would have easily made the playoffs if we'd had them all season. We were clearly better with CP3 but we were going to be a playoff team even without the trade IMO.
 

Hoop Head

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I just gotta disagree, at least with the Nurkic comparison.

Nurkic is a marginally better passer and maaaaybe better on the glass, Ayton is better at everything else and by a very significant margin. He sets better screens, he's more efficient at shooting, he's better defending inside and out. The defending, especially when defending screens and switches, there is no comparison. Ayton is one of the best bigs in the league at defending screens and switches, Nurkic is flat out terrible when forced to.

Nurkic just isn't very good. He is a below average starter and I think whoever had the idea that Nurkic was the dude worth holding out for made a big mistake.

I think Ayton's screens were overstated also because while he did set some good ones to create space, he'd be completely lost afterwards and teams became hip to that so they'd start doubling whoever he screened for, knowing Ayton wasn't rolling to the basket or a factor in that set afterwards. That wasn't the offense, that was Ayton's lackadaisical play.

Nurkic is actually a productive member of the offense. He makes good reads, passes to who is open, doesn't force things like Ayton, and knows how to score when he's got a smaller player on him. He'll also set some screens and fade out or roll and become a viable option afterwards if a shot isn't taken right away.

You're not high on Nurkic, I get it, and that's fair considering he does have his own warts but he's not nearly as frustrating to watch as Ayton. He's done what's expected of him quite well. So he's a not top 5 Center in the game but neither was Ayton 90% of the time.
 

Hoop Head

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I think the lack of leadership from Chris Paul is hurting this team. Remember how terrible we were prior to his trade.

I think that hurts to a degree but mainly because our leader, Booker, hasn't been out there either. KD isn't a leader. No one else on this team has that drive either. I'm hoping Beal can step up and lead more than KD when he finally debuts because asking Booker to do it all is putting a lot on him, even with a team of veterans.
 

Hoop Head

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not buying it. Team was fed up with his act.

Says who? I heard that from the same people here for 2 seasons but what I saw was Paul leading the team on the court regularly and Book doing dual pressers with him every post game.
 

AzStevenCal

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Says who? I heard that from the same people here for 2 seasons but what I saw was Paul leading the team on the court regularly and Book doing dual pressers with him every post game.
I don't think Booker was fed up with him, quite the opposite. But just watching the reactions and responses before, during and after the games it did seem like some of the players had grown tired of him.
 

AzStevenCal

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People have very different descriptions of CP3's time in Phx
He made us better. He was the best finisher we've ever had in Phoenix. And then age caught up with him to the point where closing a game was about all he had left.

He's always been a great but tough leader. When things go south though that leadership eventually becomes more of a liability than an asset.
 

BirdGangThing

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He made us better. He was the best finisher we've ever had in Phoenix. And then age caught up with him to the point where closing a game was about all he had left.

He's always been a great but tough leader. When things go south though that leadership eventually becomes more of a liability than an asset.
I agree with most all this - not sure about best finisher ever in Phx thing

But that's leaving a lot off - you've pointed out his better qualities but my man was abused by pesky defenders - he'd go cold at times too just like everybody else - the injuries... don't get me started on the flukey injuries - with the short amount of time here I'm not sure he's even in my top 10 - but it was fun while it lasted
 

AzStevenCal

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I agree with most all this - not sure about best finisher ever in Phx thing

But that's leaving a lot off - you've pointed out his better qualities but my man was abused by pesky defenders - he'd go cold at times too just like everybody else - the injuries... don't get me started on the flukey injuries - with the short amount of time here I'm not sure he's even in my top 10 - but it was fun while it lasted
After that first year, I think he cost us a lot in the first 3 and a half quarters of many games. His defense, thanks to injuries and age, understandably got progressively worse here but when he faced off against any of the quicker PG's, he really got worked. That's true for most defenders up against the quick guys but with his loss of speed, more and more PGs moved into that too quick to guard group.

And talking just about his time with Phoenix he isn't in my top 10 either, not even close. But IMO we've never had a player that stepped up his play late in the 4th quarter like CP3 did. And I'm not just talking about his clutch scoring; his leadership, passing, decision making and even his defense all were much better when the game was on the line.
 

Finito

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Yeah what he said lol…

Stop being a blind cheerleader

My problem with Paul was not Paul it’s giving him that many years and money at that advanced age and guess what? I was right.

I’ve never once came on here and said Ayton is a perfect player. Never once however he wasn’t responsible for half the crap he got blamed for. The handling of Ayton is one of the biggest failures in the history of the franchise. The second you started dangling him in trades you had to move him. You could have had Sabonis and even Turner but now you got Nurkic who’s really bad.

And yes our defense was great the numbers support it and it’s all gone now. How’s this a hot take?
 

Finito

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He made us better. He was the best finisher we've ever had in Phoenix. And then age caught up with him to the point where closing a game was about all he had left.

He's always been a great but tough leader. When things go south though that leadership eventually becomes more of a liability than an asset.

Paul kinda ends the same way on every team. It starts great then he starts to wear on guys and it eventually goes south.

I think he’s a fake leader. It’s easy when things are going good but a real leader is judged by how he handles things when they go wrong. When things go wrong he points fingers and divides locker rooms.
 

Covert Rain

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I just gotta disagree, at least with the Nurkic comparison.

Nurkic is a marginally better passer and maaaaybe better on the glass, Ayton is better at everything else and by a very significant margin. He sets better screens, he's more efficient at shooting, he's better defending inside and out. The defending, especially when defending screens and switches, there is no comparison. Ayton is one of the best bigs in the league at defending screens and switches, Nurkic is flat out terrible when forced to.

Nurkic just isn't very good. He is a below average starter and I think whoever had the idea that Nurkic was the dude worth holding out for made a big mistake.
Altering shots doesn’t show up in regular stat lines. Like Ayton or not he did this in spades which I think is another reason he is a superior defender. Having said that Nurkic might be good enough and add that with his ability to pass he might still be the better fit. It’s too early to judge anything IMO.
 
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