the "What Ended Season 2022?" thread

1tinsoldier

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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

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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.
 
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1tinsoldier

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Chris Paul turned 37 and disappeared. That's all I got. Holliday should have played more.
 

angelofthesouth

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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

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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.
 
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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

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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

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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
 
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Bufalay

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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

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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!
 
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