Suns @ Rockets Wednesday game thread 12-27-2023

1982baskets

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I take a game off and they actually play well, go figure..

Glad to see they actually had a good scoring performance for once. This team should have no issues with scoring.
If they don't care about defense. You can run Grayson/Gordon with Book, and even KD doesn't play a lot of defense at this stage of his career. Nurk is the only one who will hustle on defense. So where does the defense come, if you score a lot? The moment you start to look at some defensive answers, you begin to lose your offense.

What teams are doing is rather simple. They double Book and KD. Knowing "the others" won't make enough shots. Of course if we run Gordon/Grayson all the time with KD/Book, the "others" will make doubles pay. But then, there's defense. With the lack of size between Grayson/Gordon/Book to defend bigger wings at the 3/2.
 

Peter Sheldon

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If they don't care about defense. You can run Grayson/Gordon with Book, and even KD doesn't play a lot of defense at this stage of his career. Nurk is the only one who will hustle on defense. So where does the defense come, if you score a lot? The moment you start to look at some defensive answers, you begin to lose your offense.

What teams are doing is rather simple. They double Book and KD. Knowing "the others" won't make enough shots. Of course if we run Gordon/Grayson all the time with KD/Book, the "others" will make doubles pay. But then, there's defense. With the lack of size between Grayson/Gordon/Book to defend bigger wings at the 3/2.
thats it in a nutshell. Go small and defense suffers. Go big and offense suffers. But you really can’t double team KD and Book simultaneously. So that’s where player movement and passing comes in. but this has been a problem. Saw a lot of movement against Houston, so that’s a good sign Maybe of things to come.
suns Kryptonite is tall athletic wings. They struggle against those teams.
 

CardsSunsDbacks

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If they don't care about defense. You can run Grayson/Gordon with Book, and even KD doesn't play a lot of defense at this stage of his career. Nurk is the only one who will hustle on defense. So where does the defense come, if you score a lot? The moment you start to look at some defensive answers, you begin to lose your offense.

What teams are doing is rather simple. They double Book and KD. Knowing "the others" won't make enough shots. Of course if we run Gordon/Grayson all the time with KD/Book, the "others" will make doubles pay. But then, there's defense. With the lack of size between Grayson/Gordon/Book to defend bigger wings at the 3/2.
A lineup of Book, KD, EG, GA and Nurk can be at least a mediocre defense (Suns are currently 18th on that end). The problem is that this team should be a good offensive team and yet they are 14th on that end. They could get away with mediocre defense if they have a top tier offense (which they should), but they have struggled mightily on that end as well.

Having Beal back should help the offense and if they can find their way to around a top 5 offense and tighten the defense up even slightly they should at least look good in the regular season. How that translates to the playoffs is a whole other issue and we might need a trade to have a chance there.

Either way I think this roster of players is capable of much better basketball than we have seen so far. Simply having better defensive communication and rotations would improve the defense quite a bit. Playing faster with more freedom on offense while cleaning up some silly turnovers and this offense could be quite good. This roster may not be built to win a title, but they should still be a lot better than they have been.
 
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Covert Rain

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Solid win. However, this just reinforces how razor thin the roster is in terms of playing at a high level. Okogie back, Nurk back and they play at a decent level. If even one of those guys is gone seems to severely impact this team with Beal out. We still don't know if this team is completely different with Beal in for any length of time. I hope we find out because Vogel isn't a great coach.
 

nashman

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Solid win. However, this just reinforces how razor thin the roster is in terms of playing at a high level. Okogie back, Nurk back and they play at a decent level. If even one of those guys is gone seems to severely impact this team with Beal out. We still don't know if this team is completely different with Beal in for any length of time. I hope we find out because Vogel isn't a great coach.
Kind of an odd take as JO and Nurk barely played?
 

Covert Rain

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Kind of an odd take as JO and Nurk barely played?
With them in the lineup it has a cascade effect on the rotation. When those guys are out we have to go deeper into the rotation which we are finding out has not been working. That's been the issue all season. The rotation has been wonky to say the least. Once Beal is back I would love to see what our intended rotation looks like for a handful of games. This year has been brutal.
 

Hoop Head

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With them in the lineup it has a cascade effect on the rotation. When those guys are out we have to go deeper into the rotation which we are finding out has not been working. That's been the issue all season. The rotation has been wonky to say the least. Once Beal is back I would love to see what our intended rotation looks like for a handful of games. This year has been brutal.

Last night guys played and contributed who were those deep rotation guys, Azabuike and Saban Lee, so it's not a matter of going deep on the bench so much as putting the most effective guys out there. I don't care if its Bol Bol that is contributing. We can't have anyone go through the motions out there. Each night everyone who plays should be playing for this team as well as their spot in the rotation. If they don't get it done then it's time for next man up. It seemed like Vogel decided he'd seen enough of some of the guys like Eubanks, Goodwin, and KBD who seemed somewhat secure in their spots because of how thin we are on paper. Sitting them worked as those who got those minutes played to keep them.
 

Covert Rain

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Last night guys played and contributed who were those deep rotation guys, Azabuike and Saban Lee, so it's not a matter of going deep on the bench so much as putting the most effective guys out there. I don't care if its Bol Bol that is contributing. We can't have anyone go through the motions out there. Each night everyone who plays should be playing for this team as well as their spot in the rotation. If they don't get it done then it's time for next man up. It seemed like Vogel decided he'd seen enough of some of the guys like Eubanks, Goodwin, and KBD who seemed somewhat secure in their spots because of how thin we are on paper. Sitting them worked as those who got those minutes played to keep them.
The problem is he needs to settle on a rotation and that seems to be a moving target. This team has no identity right now. It's going to be hard to establish one until this team has a regular rotation and might not be possible if Beal doesn't get healthy and because of it we are constantly tinkering.
 

Hoop Head

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The problem is he needs to settle on a rotation and that seems to be a moving target. This team has no identity right now. It's going to be hard to establish one until this team has a regular rotation and might not be possible if Beal doesn't get healthy and because of it we are constantly tinkering.

I agree with that. I really liked what saw vs Houston and also when he made substitutions. No one seemed gassed and he still rode the hot hand when present. He does try and get too creative closing quarters making quick offense for defense, or vice versa, subs but I can live with those so long as we've got a little cushion to our lead.
 

Yuma

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I don't understand the dislike for Saban Lee. He is on a two-way contract like Udoka.

I like aggressive players with upside, as we saw from both tonight.
He has a skill. Getting to the rack and finishing. Vogel is starting to bring him in when we need pace, and when scoring is lacking and we need a quick punch. That's perfect.
 
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He has a skill. Getting to the rack and finishing. Vogel is starting to bring him in when we need pace, and when scoring is lacking and we need a quick punch. That's perfect.

I look at Saban Lee as an alternative to Jordon Goodwin. Both can play defense and get to the basket.

However, Lee looks like he can develop a floater in the lane which would add to his repertoire. I haven't ruled out him developing an outside shot, either. It's a little flat but he can make free throws which I think is an indicator of shooting ability.
 
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Yuma

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I look at Saban Lee as an alternative to Jordon Goodwin. Both can play defense and get to the basket.

However, Lee looks like he can develop a floater in the lane which would add to his repertoire. I haven't ruled out him developing an outside shot, either. It's a little flat but he can make free throws which I think is an indicator of shooting ability.
I agree. Our three 2 way contracts look pretty good for developmental purposes. They actually have skills that are of help to us now. The problem is if they really do well this season, they aren't eligible for playoffs unless we can convert them to full contracts.
 

clyde2tw

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Solid win. Still waaaaay too many stupid turnovers. That part is baffling.
Some of them were from being not prepared for aggressive poking from behind moves, lack of situation awareness. Some were too hard passes that should have been softer lobs or touch passes for open guys, need refinement there with more reps. At least we ain't turn over due to double teaming KD and Book without teammates opening themselves up, nor due to careless side passes. The one TO by Saben when feeding KD in the post, it's simply experience and can be improved with more court time.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Some of them were from being not prepared for aggressive poking from behind moves, lack of situation awareness. Some were too hard passes that should have been softer lobs or touch passes for open guys, need refinement there with more reps. At least we ain't turn over due to double teaming KD and Book without teammates opening themselves up, nor due to careless side passes. The one TO by Saben when feeding KD in the post, it's simply experience and can be improved with more court time.
Are we making excuses for a 20 turnover game by a team that’s been plagued by turnovers all season?
 

clyde2tw

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I look at Saban Lee as an alternative to Jordon Goodwin. Both can play defense and get to the basket.

However, Lee looks like he can develop a floater in the lane which would add to his repertoire. I haven't ruled out him developing an outside shot, either. It's a little flat but he can make free throws which I think is an indicator of shooting ability.
Saben is ultra quick and strong for his size, his drives have good odds to tear up the paint defense and he finishes well around basket. In no gabbage playing time, he just needs to control it more and choose wisely when to do the layup.
 

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Not excuse, but seeing improvement where it was and existing problems for later corrections.

Yeah I'll take the turnovers against Houston vs what we've seen against other teams. All turnovers are bad but the Houston game featured more reasonable TO's due to the Rockets tenacity and being a bit sneaky. Most weren't from lazy passes, holding the ball too long in tight or double coverage, or trying to be flashy when there was no need. Those are the boneheaded turnovers that have plagued us all year but you can live with the turnovers against Houston so long as you cut the number down. If we can get under 10 a game, I'd be happy, and we'd be in a position to win most games also.
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

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Yeah I'll take the turnovers against Houston vs what we've seen against other teams. All turnovers are bad but the Houston game featured more reasonable TO's due to the Rockets tenacity and being a bit sneaky. Most weren't from lazy passes, holding the ball too long in tight or double coverage, or trying to be flashy when there was no need. Those are the boneheaded turnovers that have plagued us all year but you can live with the turnovers against Houston so long as you cut the number down. If we can get under 10 a game, I'd be happy, and we'd be in a position to win most games also.
But that’s just it - it was double the acceptable number. And I’m sorry I didn’t see what y’all did. I saw balls ripped outta suns players hands. I saw passes thrown outta bounds to know one. I saw passes thrown directly to a rocket under his own basket for a dunk. And there were a number of instances where they did throw the stupid unaware careless pass we were just lucky that the rockets defenders were a half a second slower than our usual opponents. It’s carelessness with the ball. And it’s not improving.
 

1982baskets

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thats it in a nutshell. Go small and defense suffers. Go big and offense suffers. But you really can’t double team KD and Book simultaneously. So that’s where player movement and passing comes in. but this has been a problem. Saw a lot of movement against Houston, so that’s a good sign Maybe of things to come.
suns Kryptonite is tall athletic wings. They struggle against those teams.
Part of it is that we haven't seen enough of those Gordon/Allen/Nurk/Beal + Book/KD top 6 games this year. I think we saw yesterday if we play bad teams, we can drop 130 or 120+ on them if we have our top 6. It's just that type of lineup will give you enough offense, but not enough defense. Any plan where you're expecting your offense only to win you most games is a bad plan in my book.

One of the things about this team's offense, is how slow they get going. This again is a lack of a PG. We're 12th in the league in offense rating, yet 28th in pace. If you think about it, if we had a PG that can push the ball and get some easy baskets, those numbers probably go up. We're a pretty good halfcourt set team from what I've seen. We can get good shots. It's that we seem to be only good at that. We're not good at getting easy quick baskets, we play quite slow, and we can be turnover prone. A lot of those problems would be solved with a PG who can run the offense at times. We literally are asking non-PGs to become PGs. I know it's been done in the past in the NBA and teams have even won championships, but they at least had 1 PG in their top 8. We don't even have 1 guy that is naturally a point guard.
 
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