Yes, preseason games mean absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things, but wow. No matter the stakes, any 51-point blowout makes you raise your eyebrows a little bit.
In their second game against an NBA opponent this season, the new-look Phoenix Suns forgot to show up in Vancouver and were embarrassed, 129-78.
In what was supposed to be Steve Nash’s homecoming, the Suns turned the ball over 32 times, shot 37.8 percent from the field, 16.7 percent from three (3-for-18) and missed 14 of their 33 free throws.
And for the icing on the cake, last season’s NBA Sportsmanship Award winner Grant Hill was ejected after getting into a spanking battle with Reggie Evans. Robin Lopez also fouled out after 16 minutes and Jason Richardson left the game in the middle of the first quarter with a shoulder injury.
Needless to say, it wasn’t Phoenix’s night.
Jared Dudley tweeted after the game: “I know it’s pre season but we got our a$ kick tonight.. I don’t care if they don’t count, still embarrassing.. We will cont to get better.”
The Suns fell behind from the get-go, trailing 24-18 after the first quarter and ultimately 55-39 at half. They couldn’t stop the bleeding in the second half, as the Raptors blew it open, outscoring the Suns 74-39 in the final 24 minutes.
This is expected to be one of the most explosive offenses in the league this season, but the Nash-led Suns couldn’t get into a groove offensively thanks to atrocious shooting and their inability to take care of the ball — 16 turnovers in each half.
The talk was that if you have good guys off the court, chemistry will come. But it seems that on-the-court chemistry is going to take a little longer to develop than expected.
Only one Suns player scored in double-digits — Jared Dudley with 10 points — and they allowed 129 points to a Raptors team that may not reach that mark all season.
The Suns are expected to be bad defensively, but 129 points to this team is flat-out ugly. Not to mention that the Raptors shot 55 free throws on the night, further proving Phoenix’s awful defense.
Raptors forward Linas Kleiza scored a game-high 20 points, while DeMar DeRozan tallied 16 and grabbed 10 boards. Former Sun Leandro Barbosa (now wearing No. 20) also scored six points in 17 minutes.
The Suns were without Channing Frye for the second straight game as he’s in Phoenix for the birth of first child, and Hakim Warrick didn’t play either (coach’s decision). Although it is a preseason game, definitely not a good way to start off for the Suns.
In a 51-point loss there is only one way to categorize performances: good, bad and ugly.
Dudley led the Suns with 10. Nash, who received never-ending cheers from the crowd, had nine points and seven assists in 22 minutes. Josh Childress and Earl Clark both scored nine points, grabbing three and four boards, respectively. Combo guard Zabian Dowdell also played a nice game with nine points.
Hedo Turkoglu, who was booed every time he touched the ball, shot 3-for-10 from the field a night after going 0-for-5 — not a good sign for the Suns. He did however add eight boards and three steals. Lopez was 1-for-4 with two boards and five turnovers before fouling out. Matt Janning was 2-for-8.
In addition to Lopez, Gani Lawal and Garret Siler both fouled out, with Siler needing only 10 minutes to do so. Lawal also went 1-for-6 from the field and 5-for-12 from the line. Goran Dragic made only one of his six attempts.
GM survey deems Nash best passer, leader
NBA GMs were surveyed on a number of questions and this is how the Suns fared:
- Nash named best passe,r winning 75 percent of the vote
- Nash also earned best leader award with 46.3 percent of the vote with Kobe Bryant coming in second
- Nash tied Chauncey Billups for second in which player will become the best head coach
- The Suns came second in most fun team to watch, behind the OKC Thunder
Check Paul Coro’s blog for more on the results.
After falling to the Kings last night, the Suns are now 0-2 in the preseason. They have a chance to bounce back when they take on the Mavericks outdoors in Indian Wells, Calif., Saturday night at 6:30 MST in a game televised by TNT.