Thunder @ Suns Thursday game thread 12-23-2021

Mainstreet

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Thursday the Suns begin a four game home stand when the Thunder visit.

Afterwards they play the Warriors (Saturday), Grizzlies (Monday) and the Thunder again (Wednesday).

Thunder are 10-19 and have won their last two games over the Clippers and Grizzlies respectively. They play the Nuggets at home on Wednesday.

Suns are 25-5 and have won four games in a row after beating the Lakers.

The game will be televised on Bally Sports Arizona.

Start time is listed at 7 p.m. Arizona time.
 
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cheesebeef

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Hopefully another day at the office.

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That’s funny. My laker fan friend texted me at the end of this game
And told me that me and the Suns can go f ourselves if we DONT finally win the title this season. That’s how good he thinks we are.

My response was that feels like the “Unfinished Business” season. That’s what it is. We were on our way to steamrolling the Bucks until CP3’s wrist went gonzo and even then, if one play in Game 5 goes different we still might have pulled that out.

This season we finish the job.
 

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Definition of a trap game
I just don't buy into trap games with this team.

They never seem to lack proper motivation. Games we lose this season seem to fall into two categories, losses due to heavy schedule load, like back to backs, or just bad shooting games. Effort always seems to be there, at least it has so far this season.
 

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That’s funny. My laker fan friend texted me at the end of this game
And told me that me and the Suns can go f ourselves if we DONT finally win the title this season. That’s how good he thinks we are.

My response was that feels like the “Unfinished Business” season. That’s what it is. We were on our way to steamrolling the Bucks until CP3’s wrist went gonzo and even then, if one play in Game 5 goes different we still might have pulled that out.

This season we finish the job.
The warriors do scare me though.

I really just wish Ayton would make some offensive strides before the playoffs. I swear he is just a few dribble moves and learning how to create contact away from making the team 20% harder to beat.
 

cheesebeef

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The warriors do scare me though.

I really just wish Ayton would make some offensive strides before the playoffs. I swear he is just a few dribble moves and learning how to create contact away from making the team 20% harder to beat.

No doubt. The Warriors are damn good and I think we’re neck and neck with them. That will be a 6 or 7 game series of massive highs and lows.
 
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Mainstreet

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There is no one new on the Suns injury report.


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Mainstreet

Mainstreet

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I listened to James Jones on Arizona Sports. It's easy to see why the Suns are winning. He talks with pride when he says the guys love defending and they are a defensive team. He understands the only way you win is getting stops.

It's a great podcast. I especially enjoyed the part at the 7:40 mark.


By Jake Anderson, Arizona Sports:

“Those guys, they live for defense. And when you have that, it’s a good recipe,” Jones said. “Because as you start to level up in this league, you start to play against the best teams in the playoffs and you get to the Finals like we did last year, you play against the league’s best offensive players. And the only way you win is getting stops.


“So we’re focused on that every night. We’re trying to develop the capacity to get stops every night, every possession because we know it will serve us well come playoff time.”



 
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Mainstreet

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Someone needs to slow down Shai Alexander.

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Someone needs to slow down Shai Alexander.

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Bridges will get the assignment of SGA. I feel like this is a game where with CP3’s knowledge of OKC, we’re gonna try to get him or Book matched up against Giddey or SGA with a lot of pick and roll actions. Dort is a physical defender who gave Harden trouble in the playoffs a few years ago. Gonna need Book to be efficient tomorrow.
 

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Phrazbit

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Gordon is such a bad fit on that team.

20,0000 a year for a 15.5 PER and 14 / 6
He is a blend of Lamar Odem and Blake Griffin, like the basketball gods decided to make that player version 3.0 but still didn't get it right. If he could get a bit better from outside and develop some leadership characteristics he will become a fantastic 3rd or 4th guy on a contender.

It is undoubtedly Wildcat bias but I think he is a perfect example of why the one and done stuff really hurt both the NBA and college ball. Gordon is a pretty smart player but never got time to hone his skills or act as a leader before being thrown into the fire. If he had played another couple years against college competition I think he would have been a far more advanced NBA player at this stage.
 
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Mainstreet

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Bridges will get the assignment of SGA. I feel like this is a game where with CP3’s knowledge of OKC, we’re gonna try to get him or Book matched up against Giddey or SGA with a lot of pick and roll actions. Dort is a physical defender who gave Harden trouble in the playoffs a few years ago. Gonna need Book to be efficient tomorrow.

Bridges will probably get the primary defensive assignment on Shai but I expect the Suns to do a lot of switching.

Dort will try to play physical with Booker as he has in past.

It's nothing new though. The Suns need to keep playing defense and execute their offense.
 
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Mainstreet

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Gordon is such a bad fit on that team.

20,0000 a year for a 15.5 PER and 14 / 6

The salary will probably not look too bad in future years. I always wanted Aaron Gordon for the Suns but the way they like to spread the court, he may not have been the best fit.
 
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Mainstreet

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The Thunder have won three games in a row. Expect Darius Bazley to come off the bench and bring energy.
 
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Mainstreet

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Chandler Hutchison is back with the team.

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Mainstreet

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Off topic but related. Trevor Ariza enters health and safety protocols.

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