the "What Ended Season 2022?" thread

1tinsoldier

Hall of Famer
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Posts
1,454
Reaction score
523
Location
AZ
i think we need a thread to make sense of one of the worst collapses in recent NBA history (take heart, Lebron's Lakers and the superstar studded Nets were worse in this season alone!)

surely, we'll find out more in the weeks ahead, but for now, here's my speculation:

* Suns ended the season in cruise control, 8 games ahead of the rest. Having thrived as underdogs, becoming the favorites had a negative effect.

* without Paul's clutch 4th quarters the Suns would have only been among the top teams in the West. They were, essentially, playing without him the last 5 games against the 2nd best team the 2nd half of the season.

* after being blown-out game 6 the Suns were still favorites to win game 7 at home. Monty probably went with his usual assuring, inspiring, team spirit speech but the players weren't buying it. They knew Dallas had broken the code, their pg was broken without a replacement and that without adjustments they may be looking at a repeat of game 6.

* Paul, desperate to play for his best last shot wasn't sharing his issues, but the players could read his mood. Several role players had already panned out this season. For the other young risers, confidence and leadership was essential, but in game 6 they didn't get those from Booker either.

* when Booker, Paul, and Ayton started missing shots, the dye/die was set. The team lost the last of their mojo and confidence. When Monty told Ayton to play in the 4th despite the game being over in the 3rd, the sleep deprived ("2 hours per night!") youngster probably said something like, "you go in!"
 

angelofthesouth

Veteran
Joined
Apr 21, 2022
Posts
321
Reaction score
97
Location
Earth
I don't believe this., Around the net, multiple Suns fans are accusing the players of taking bribes to throw the game. I haven't seen it here. Understandable slander is still slander.
 
OP
OP
1

1tinsoldier

Hall of Famer
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Posts
1,454
Reaction score
523
Location
AZ
as if multi-millionaires whose life goal is to win a championship would throw that away and subject themselves to humiliation for more cash
 

TRW

ASFN Addict
Joined
Jan 13, 2003
Posts
6,401
Reaction score
5,100
Location
Avondale, AZ
It appeared to me that Game 6 rattled them and they showed up scared and tentative, except Crowder who kept jacking up crazy shots. Once Dallas got on a roll, the Suns were done. No heart, no pride, no passion. Monty made little adjustment but I don't think there was anything he could have done after the first 5 or 6 minutes of the game anyway.

Just a complete meltdown cluster.
 

cheesebeef

ASFN IDOL
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2003
Posts
79,980
Reaction score
44,552
as if multi-millionaires whose life goal is to win a championship would throw that away and subject themselves to humiliation for more cash
Not to mention it would be the most obvious dumping of a game ever.
 

nashman

ASFN Addict
Joined
May 3, 2007
Posts
8,671
Reaction score
4,064
Monty refused to play the bench players that when came in later immediately scored and contributed. His stubbornness and refusal to play them all playoffs resulted in heavy minutes for the starters, including Paul which is why he was toast! Outcoached pretty much all of the playoffs and tan his guys into the ground, sound about right?
 

JCSunsfan

ASFN Icon
Joined
Oct 24, 2002
Posts
20,954
Reaction score
5,136
Chris Paul turned 37 and disappeared. That's all I got. Holliday should have played more.
 

angelofthesouth

Veteran
Joined
Apr 21, 2022
Posts
321
Reaction score
97
Location
Earth
Certainly, whether or not the Suns straighten up next season and actually win a championship, the damage is done. This was such a historic embarrassment that it has damaged the Suns franchise's reputation (not just the current team's reputation, though that too). Badly enough that it would take years to repair, and require years of repeated trips to the Finals and probably more than one championship. Although it has already come out that Chris Paul was injured and coach W. made the horrible mistake of letting him play anyway when he just couldn't, the team gave the appearance of insulting its fans and wasting the arena ticket-buyers' money, by inexplicably quitting. (Yes--even from the viewpoint of someone who wasn't at the arena, it appears to have been bad enough that the ticket was a waste of money.)
 

angelofthesouth

Veteran
Joined
Apr 21, 2022
Posts
321
Reaction score
97
Location
Earth
Now that we know Monty Williams chose to make Chris Paul play on an injured quad when he couldn't, and the Mavericks immediately ate Paul alive for it, I am one of the observers who think Monty Williams should lose his job for such a stupid and costly mistake. He should at least offer his resignation without being asked to, after this embarrassment; but if he doesn't, then in order to show him respect for his accomplishment of taking the Suns to the finals in 2021, he should be asked to voluntarily resign.

Someone has to pay for this. If you disagree and you are any of the people who posted how disgusted you were, you obviously weren't really. Maybe players should be traded, yes; but I also want Williams to pay for his own horrible mistake. Maybe if he just went public and admitted that he made it. Because everyone agrees that he's a great person, maybe he would be humble enough to.

I haven't been considering the economic difficulty of hiring a new coach or trading players. That's not my particular concern, though.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Posts
74
Reaction score
94
Location
Chandler
Certainly, whether or not the Suns straighten up next season and actually win a championship, the damage is done. This was such a historic embarrassment that it has damaged the Suns franchise's reputation (not just the current team's reputation, though that too). Badly enough that it would take years to repair, and require years of repeated trips to the Finals and probably more than one championship. Although it has already come out that Chris Paul was injured and coach W. made the horrible mistake of letting him play anyway when he just couldn't, the team gave the appearance of insulting its fans and wasting the arena ticket-buyers' money, by inexplicably quitting. (Yes--even from the viewpoint of someone who wasn't at the arena, it appears to have been bad enough that the ticket was a waste of money.)
Certainly no one will argue that ANY injured player should not play, especially one who ALREADY was being targeted as the weak point on the defense. But please let's not forget this was a total team meltdown. When you FIVE starters end the game with 36 points, it's far more than one point guard.

In moving forward, serious evaluations will need to take place about not just where these players are now (Crowder, Cam Johnson, Cam Payne, Bridges, Ayton) but more important, is there still room for growth in Cam Johnson, Ayton, and Bridges? I think Crowder is where he will finally be. We've been over the Ayton debate.

What is needed is a sober reevaluation of the entire Suns team a a PLAYOFF team. Two years in a row they have been out-toughed, and we lost 10 of our last 17 playoff games. We also had trouble in late season with the Pelicans and last year difficulty with the Clips. We have a serious problem with the bigger physical teams, and that needs to be analyzed and assessed.
 

Bufalay

ASFN Lifer
Joined
Jul 21, 2006
Posts
4,402
Reaction score
472
Perhaps fatigue played a role. For the second consecutive year the there are four new teams in the conference finals. This might have resulted from the irregular schedules of the last two years. Three of the remaining teams this year lost in the first round last year and the Warriors didn't even make the playoffs.
 

Chris_Sanders

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2002
Posts
33,363
Reaction score
18,601
Location
Scottsdale, Az
Arrogance would be the word I would use.

I do think Paul was really injured again and just tried to play through it. That's arrogance.
I think Monty was beyond stubborn with time outs and rotations. That's arrogance.
I think Ayton thought he could just show up based on his height and not have to work. Just be Dominayton. Arrogance
I think Booker wanted to out talk Doncic and wrote checks he couldn't cash in the end. Arrogance
I believe the Suns expected the officiating to treat them differently than they had all post season and couldn't get over it when they didn't. Arrogance
Coasted at the end of the season. Arrogance
Not showing up for the first quarter and expecting to turn it on like they had all year. Arrogance
 
Last edited:

Bufalay

ASFN Lifer
Joined
Jul 21, 2006
Posts
4,402
Reaction score
472
I had noticed from game 3 on in the series that the Mavs defensive strategy was similar to the Lakers' last year (pressure paul, double Booker). Of course, Kidd was an assistant with the Lakers last year and saw how effective that strategy was when Paul was hurt.
 

nashman

ASFN Addict
Joined
May 3, 2007
Posts
8,671
Reaction score
4,064
Perhaps fatigue played a role. For the second consecutive year the there are four new teams in the conference finals. This might have resulted from the irregular schedules of the last two years. Three of the remaining teams this year lost in the first round last year and the Warriors didn't even make the playoffs.
Perhaps? Clearly we were spent but part of that equation is Monty not using the bench enough to limit minutes played by our starters. As you stated other teams as well, but CP3 should have been a priority all year knowing what happened last season!
 

cheesebeef

ASFN IDOL
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2003
Posts
79,980
Reaction score
44,552
Perhaps? Clearly we were spent but part of that equation is Monty not using the bench enough to limit minutes played by our starters. As you stated other teams as well, but CP3 should have been a priority all year know what happened last season!
Paul got A MONTH OF REST. This has happened EVERY YEAR OF HIS CAREER. Him wearing down in the playoffs is unavoidable, especially at age 37.
 
OP
OP
1

1tinsoldier

Hall of Famer
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Posts
1,454
Reaction score
523
Location
AZ
some points made here and on talk radio are leaving out an important detail.
to be fair, Monty was between a rock and a hard place. 3 key points:

1. Monty did rely too much on Paul in the regular season and in the playoffs
-- because way too often the team was not getting it done!
how many times did we all see games slipping away early in the 4th and say, damn, get Paul in there?

if Monty hadn't, as he speculated, "worn Chris out" we wouldn't have earned the #1 seed with the home court advantage and we wouldn't have gotten past the Pelicans. There's a lot of talk about Paul costing us the Mavs series, but he almost single-handedly GOT US TO the Mavs series!

rock and a hard place -- everyone else was inconsistent, at best

2. now there's talk about only maxing Ayton if we play him the right way, and maybe moving Paul.
unless you want to re-write history, you know that Paul's playmaking revived and advanced Ayton's career, as well as McGee, and the decay of our center position advantage in the Mavs series correlated with Paul's decay

rock and a hard place -- the Suns drifted away from working Ayton and McGee when they were having trouble getting the ball to them in position. A mix of Mavs good defense and Ayton's ongoing inability to aggressively get good position, hang on to the ball, and "throw it down, big fella!"

3. half a Chris Paul was probably better than no Chris Paul. Payne was a worse liability on both offense and defense. Shamet is, well, Shamet. Booker had 8 turnovers and 5 in the last 2 games and already had his hands full with double teaming.

the valid Monty criticism is not playing Holiday, even if only for the consistent scoring we were missing from all the other role players -- but as a playmaker, Holiday would not have improved our vanishing advantage at center (though, perhaps if he had replaced Payne in the regular season he would have learned our system well)

3 rocks. 3 hard places. and the Suns collapsed in the middle
 

cheesebeef

ASFN IDOL
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2003
Posts
79,980
Reaction score
44,552
some points made here and on talk radio are leaving out an important detail.
to be fair, Monty was between a rock and a hard place. 3 key points:

1. Monty did rely too much on Paul in the regular season and in the playoffs
-- because way too often the team was not getting it done!
how many times did we all see games slipping away early in the 4th and say, damn, get Paul in there?

if Monty hadn't, as he speculated, "worn Chris out" we wouldn't have earned the #1 seed with the home court advantage and we wouldn't have gotten past the Pelicans. There's a lot of talk about Paul costing us the Mavs series, but he almost single-handedly GOT US TO the Mavs series!

rock and a hard place -- everyone else was inconsistent, at best

2. now there's talk about only maxing Ayton if we play him the right way, and maybe moving Paul.
unless you want to re-write history, you know that Paul's playmaking revived and advanced Ayton's career, as well as McGee, and the decay of our center position advantage in the Mavs series correlated with Paul's decay

rock and a hard place -- the Suns drifted away from working Ayton and McGee when they were having trouble getting the ball to them in position. A mix of Mavs good defense and Ayton's ongoing inability to aggressively get good position, hang on to the ball, and "throw it down, big fella!"

3. half a Chris Paul was probably better than no Chris Paul. Payne was a worse liability on both offense and defense. Shamet is, well, Shamet. Booker had 8 turnovers and 5 in the last 2 games and already had his hands full with double teaming.

the valid Monty criticism is not playing Holiday, even if only for the consistent scoring we were missing from all the other role players -- but as a playmaker, Holiday would not have improved our vanishing advantage at center (though, perhaps if he had replaced Payne in the regular season he would have learned our system well)

3 rocks. 3 hard places. and the Suns collapsed in the middle
This is pretty spot on.

And now the team is in between a rock and a hard place with Ayton.
 
OP
OP
1

1tinsoldier

Hall of Famer
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Posts
1,454
Reaction score
523
Location
AZ
yes, we can only hope to pick the better of some bad options.
i'd prefer whatever gives us one more crack at it next season before we start working on the next "timeline"
 
OP
OP
1

1tinsoldier

Hall of Famer
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Posts
1,454
Reaction score
523
Location
AZ
without knowing what went on behind the scenes/in the locker-room that contributed to the melt-down, it's too hard for anyone to speculate on what moves the Suns should make?
 

Mainstreet

Cruisin' Mainstreet
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Posts
96,867
Reaction score
35,275
without knowing what went on behind the scenes/in the locker-room that contributed to the melt-down, it's too hard for anyone to speculate on what moves the Suns should make?

Certainly it is harder to give a more informed opinion without more knowledge.

There are obvious issues that need to be addressed such as point guard.
 

Covert Rain

Father smelt of elderberries!
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2005
Posts
29,189
Reaction score
7,169
Location
Arizona
They guys on the radio were saying the Suns had a legit shot at landing Eric Gordon. I remember thinking at the time that would be huge if we could get him. If the Suns had? I think we are still playing and likely headed for our first title. The Suns didn't want to take on the salary thinking that Paul/Booker would be enough, and that Payne would come around.

UGH!
 
OP
OP
1

1tinsoldier

Hall of Famer
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Posts
1,454
Reaction score
523
Location
AZ
yes, in regards to adding a piece, they're saying, "hindsight is 20/20" -- but the history was there and clear to see.

Booker had hamstring issues over multiple seasons, including last year's playoffs, Paul's health risks were similarly known and predictable and Payton and Shamet were consistently unproductive this season before the trade deadline

i remember ranting about Payne being a 3rd string pg -- a CP1 and we needed a CP2 level backup
 

Covert Rain

Father smelt of elderberries!
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2005
Posts
29,189
Reaction score
7,169
Location
Arizona
I want to amend what I said above. Two moves I wanted. Eric Gordon and/or a move for a legit PF. I think we are still playing if we were aggressive and not passive at the deadline.
 

reebokalone2001

All Star
Joined
Jul 27, 2021
Posts
953
Reaction score
1,138
Location
Mesa, Arizona
yes, in regards to adding a piece, they're saying, "hindsight is 20/20" -- but the history was there and clear to see.

Booker had hamstring issues over multiple seasons, including last year's playoffs, Paul's health risks were similarly known and predictable and Payton and Shamet were consistently unproductive this season before the trade deadline

i remember ranting about Payne being a 3rd string pg -- a CP1 and we needed a CP2 level backup
I personally foresaw Holiday as that second string PG2 after Paul when we traded for him, and he played well the first few games after the trade. Then Paul got back to the starting lineup and Monty, for whatever unknown reason, refused to play him in front of Payne, when everyone could clearly see that holiday is a better player and contributes more even with the limited playing time.
 
Top