Golden State Warriors 113, Phoenix Suns 93 – Out of gas…again


Harrison Barnes, Michael Beasley

Phoenix Suns’ Michael Beasley (0) shoots against Golden State Warriors’ Harrison Barnes during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The Phoenix Suns were in prime position to snag their first significant road victory of the season against a Western Conference foe Saturday night.

But as was the case in previous losses against the Clippers, Grizzlies, Lakers, Thunder, Spurs and just about every other squad west of the Mississippi, two-plus quarters of basketball don’t equal a win.

Good teams might be able to survive a bad lapse on the road, but as the Suns illustrated at the Oracle Arena, that label does not apply by any stretch of the imagination in 2012-13. The Golden State Warriors closed out the contest with their second consecutive 30-point quarter and sent Phoenix on its way with a 113-93 loss.

Phoenix built a four-point halftime lead by playing fundamental basketball. Goran Dragic found a way to get to the foul line (4-of-4 from the charity stripe). Michael Beasley made a concerted effort to drive to the basket (5-of-6 on two-point shots). Jared Dudley and P.J. Tucker neutralized the long-range capabilities of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson (6-of-15 through 24 minutes).

Everything was falling into place and then it just stopped.

If you are what your record says you are, then the Suns certainly proved over the final 22 minutes of play that they are a basketball team with limited talent and an even smaller capacity to finish games.

After racing out to a 58-48 lead in the third quarter, Lindsey Hunter’s squad simply ignored what had helped them outplay the fifth-best team in the conference.

Drives to the basket turned into mid-range jump shots.  Harrison Barnes was given the freedom to do as he pleased in the paint. Curry and Thompson got into a rhythm. And the Suns’ energy and lead were gone in a matter of minutes.

Over the final 10 minutes of the quarter, the Warriors went on a 33-16 run and virtually ended any chance of an upset bid. In that span, Curry and Barnes combined for 18 points, while Phoenix’s offense went 6-for-18 from the field.

“Eventually we will get there,”  Hunter said.  “I’m not worried about it. Our guys have a lot of work to do. It’s part of the process.”

While there were a laundry list of shortcomings (the effort disparity between Andrew Bogut and Marcin Gortat, the defensive liability that is Shannon Brown and Luis Scola’s abysmal shooting night) against Mark Jackson and Co., the Suns can hang their hat on the fact that Beasley (team-high 24 points) — while not necessarily efficient from the floor  — continues to show more and more signs of aggression, rookie Kendall Marshall had another opportunity to play big minutes (18 on the night) and the schedule affords them two more opportunities (Grizzlies and Thunder) on this four-game trip to capture that elusive statement win away from US Airways Center.


And 1…

  • David Lee is the first player in Golden State history to represent the team in an All-Star Game since Latrell Sprewell pulled the feat in 1996-97. Lee is one of 10 players averaging a double-double this season, and against the Suns he showed why.  While he went just 6-of-16 from the floor, Lee never let his shooting woes affect his energy level (16 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists).
  • With Saturday’s defeat, the Suns are now 2-10 on the second game of a back-to-back. They have also lost half of their road games by 10 points or more.
  • Sebastian Telfair’s days in a Suns uniform may be coming to an end.  While it’s worthless to speculate about a potential trade, the veteran guard has not played in three of last four games due to a coaching decision. Even undrafted free agent Diante Garrett, who was called up from the D-League Monday,  saw playing time when the game was out of reach Saturday.


Tags: Golden State Warriors Lindsey Hunter Michael Beasley Phoenix Suns Recap

  • Lon Babby

    Pastrami on rye, thanks.

  • Ty-Sun

    That’s one of the reasons I originally said the the draft is a crap game, Scott. Really good NBA teams rarely have draft picks in the top 10. And those that do usually have the luxury of drafting for need OR talent depending on who is available when they pick. There are probably less than 10 really good GMs in the NBA and Phoenix doesn’t have one of them. The teams that stay at the bottom have the worst and/or have owners that aren’t willing to to pay to keep young talent after their relatively cheap rookie contracts run out (like Donald Sterling used to do).

    Phoenix is crippled by both a cheap owner and an inept/inexperienced FO. I’d love to have Presti as the Suns GM. So would the fans of probably at least 20 other NBA teams. Great GMs don’t come cheap and they are rare. If you know of one that is available and the Suns should go after, please illuminate us. Just saying that the Suns FO/GM haven’t done as well as one of if not the best GMs in the NBA isn’t enough. We already know that. It’s like someone thinking that they are making an amazing revelation by pointing to the sky and saying “it’s blue!”

  • Scott

    Kendall Marshall -

    Hand length: 8.5″
    Hand width: 9″

    According to the Draft Express database, Marshall’s hand length is the same as that of Austin Rivers, Bradley Beal, and Dion Waiters.

    His hand width is the same as that of Bradley Beal and Tony Wroten.

    The only PG in that draft with bigger hands than Marshall’s belong to Damian Lillard, at 8.75″ L x 9.75″ W.

    Diante Garrett has a hand length of 9.5″ (but no recorded width).

  • Scott

    @Ty-Sun -

    I’m just saying that while there is always risk in drafting, better GMs are likely to do better than bad ones. So when you look at a draft history and see a lot of picks that didn’t pan out, that may be more of a measure of how many GMs are bad than the level of risk involved with taking a high draft pick.

  • Scott

    FWIW, if Boston trades its key players, what I see as the most likely trade is a two-parter.

    First, Boston would trade LA native Paul Pierce to the Lakers for Pau Gasol and Earl Clark. With Rondo injured and Pierce traded away, that clears the ground for trading Garnett (who has a no-trade clause).

    If Garnett consents, the second trade would be sending Garnett and Barbosa to OKC for Perkins, Lamb, Jones, and the first round pick from the Raptors.

    This would give the Celtics a quick reset, and a starting unit of Gasol, Green, Clark, Terry, and Bradley. Backups would be Perkins, Bass, Jones, Lamb, and Lee. On the IL are Rondo and Sullinger, and Melo, Wilcox and Collins would be available as needed.

    In the summer, Boston would drop Wilcox and Collins in favor of their two first found picks, and be ready to roll into the next season.

  • Ty-Sun

    But it’s not always that, Scott. There are often drafts that only have solid rotation players available even at the top spots (such as the 2000 draft in which Kenyon Martin was the #1 pick). In 2004 only Dwight Howard became a star player out of the top 10 selections. In 2005, only #3 pick Deron Williams, #4 pick Chris Paul and maybe Andrew Bogut (#1) are star players. In 2006, there was #2 LaMarcus Aldridge, #6 Brandon Roy and #8 Rudy Gay. In 2007, there was #1 Greg Oden, #2 Kevin Durant, #3 Al Horford, #4 Mike Conley Jr., #5 Jeff Green and #9 Joakim Noah. I could go on but my point is how many of even those players are super stars in the NBA? I admit that both Roy and Oden’s careers were undercut by injuries but during just the amount of time I mentioned you have very few truly outstanding NBA players. All of them are very, very good and a few are actually great but my point is that truly great franchise players are very rare and they aren’t always obvious because of their play in college.

  • Ty-Sun

    Paul Pierce to the Lakers for Pau Gasol and Earl Clark just makes little sense for either team. Pierce is a 3, Clark is a 4 and Gasol is really a 5 even though LA trys to play him at the 4. It makes no sense because it leaves Boston very thin at the 3 and it leaves LA very vulnerable in case Howard decides to leave LA as a FA at the end of this season. Howard and Bryant just clash. They don’t like each other no matter what anyone says or thinks. And even if you don’t want to believe that, believe that Howard wants to win a championship. Unless LA makes a very big turnaround this season and makes it at least into the Western conference finals, Howard will likely leave LA as a free agent. Believe that Mark Cuban is salivating at the opportunity of offering Howard a max contract and I think that Howard would much rather share the spotlight with an aging Dirk N. than Kobe.

    But back to Scott’s Boston trades…

    Garnett might actually OK a trade to OKC… but maybe not. And Boston traded Perkins away to OKC for more than just Jeff Green. Perkins is a strong, tough NBA center but not a great or even very good NBA center. And why would they want Perkins back if they already made a trade with LAL to get Pau Gasol?

    I could go on and on as to why Scott’s trade scenario makes no sense for either team but I think I don’t need to.

  • DBreezy

    @John,

    Yes, neither of us nor the front office knows which teams will offer Gortat what after next season. What we do know though is that the Suns offered Gortat an extension and that he turned it down. We also know that under the cba rules that extension could not have been for greater than 17.2M over two seasons or an average of 8.6M per. We also know that there are several centers who are getting paid considerably more than Marcin who aren’t considered better players. I just think that if the Suns know that they aren’t going to pay Marcin what he wants (a good thing) then they need to get the best value out of the asset vs waiting until Summer of 2014 and possibly getting left empty handed. The new cba doesn’t even offer a financial incentive for a free agent to do a sign and trade which used to be some teams safety net.

    As for the Spurs and Mavs I wasn’t talking about the greatness of some of their players relative to the Suns and what will happen when they move on. I was getting at the fact that the Suns front office still seems to think that there is a rebuild while being competitve vs bottoming out debate ongoing. There was a recent article on AZC about it. The Spurs, Mavs and even the Jazz are examples of what Babby and crew want to do, but those teams got more out of their assets when it came time to retool than the Suns have so far. The Suns don’t have much in the way of assets at this point, so the draft crap-shoot that it is will have to be a big part of the rebuild. I wasn’t trying to say that Suns should have been just as competitve as the Mavs and Spurs over the runs of Duncan and Dirk.

  • Tony

    @Daniel,

    Oh wow! You really got me there didn’t you…..?! I’ve followed the Suns for so many years and am still a fan of the team, just not the FRONT OFFICE!!
    Now I’m assuming that you must have way too much time on your hands if you are going back and quote comments from a while ago. Instead of trying to rebut my arguments with non-contradictory statements that have absolutely no relevance to my most recent posts, maybe you should consider doing something productive with your life.

    “Every franchise has it’s time to be on top and it’s time to be at the bottom. We had a long way of entertaining and successful decades.”

    What a dumb and completely useless statement. By this poster’s logic, we can substitute just about anything and make the same bogus argument. For instance, “every person has had $10 in their pocket at one time, and every person has also had nothing in their pocket.” Or, “all civilizations rise and then fall.”

    Now obviously his point is that because the Suns franchise had many great years, subsequently followed by the current embarrassingly bad times, that we as fans should just be patient and not complain because every franchise goes through these losing periods.

    Hey Michael, great argument…….NOT!!!!!!

    You call us haters because we’re not sheep, pretending everything’s fine while the FO continues to embarrass our once elite franchise. You want to be a sheep, go ahead and be one, but those of us who are truly Suns fans have a right to be upset with how Sarver, Babby, and Blanks are running the organization.

    @Dbreezy,

    There’s simply no point debating John, he’s as obtuse as the rest of the Sarver-clones. If Sarver had U.S. Airways demolished and then moved the Suns to another city, John would support whatever Sarver’s justification would be for doing so. Then Michael would follow up with criticizing us for complaining about Saver moving the franchise because, “at one point or another, every franchise moves in some degree.” So we should just smile and pretend everything’s just fine….Oh, and then good old Rich Anthony would give his two-sense, along the lines of, “everything’s going according to plan.”
    I can’t forget about Scott! He would blame Steve Kerr!

    Good times over here at VOTS!

  • john

    @DBreezy

    I see your point. Also, I didn’t realize Gortat would be owed so little on a max deal. It seems to me like that’s a tiny raise. Under the old cba, I believe he could have made nearly double his salary of the last year of his prior contract.

  • john

    Btw, how do you know that’s Gortat’s max salary for next year? I just briefly looked at the max salary portion of the Coon faq, and it appeared that max salaries were quite a bit higher. Admittedly, I didn’t really care to look into the details though. Any CBA experts around that can clear that up? What kind of money can Gortat earn on his next deal?

  • Scott

    @Ty-Sun -

    Regarding the draft, I don’t see where there is an argument between us. I think you agree with my point about some GMs being better than others, which is separate from your point about talent, and I agree with you that there’s different levels of talent available each draft. Some years will have one or more Hall of Fame caliber talents, and others won’t.

    As for the Celtics trade I proposed, what I was trying to show was more along the lines of what a trade would ideally look like from the Celtics’ side. They’d probably trade both Pierce and Garnett for as much young talent as possible, and they’d probably trade Pierce first in order to push Garnett toward accepting a trade to a contender.

    As for the other ends of those trades, it assumes that OKC is willing to sell off its young assets to obtain an older defensive center with championship experience in order to win this year and/or the next. If Garnett was leaving Boston, I assume OKC would probably be tops on his list of destinations, as from his view they’d have everything they need to win but him.

    The Lakers trade was offered as an example of where Pierce might end up. If you put through that trade, then as I see it the Lakers start Nash, Kobe, Pierce, and Jamison, with a hole in the middle where Howard and Gasol used to be. I think the Lakers need to move Howard as well as Gasol, so maybe they can find a taker for Howard. That may be hard with Howard in the final year of his contract, so unsettled, and out with a season-ending injury to boot.

    But, seeing as how the Lakers seem to get whoever they want, maybe Kupchak will be able to turn Howard’s expiring into Marc Gasol. :p

  • Voqar

    Sarver is terrible, the franchise has been in steady decline since Collangelo fucked us and sold it to that greedy moron.

    The FO is a couple of scrubs he got to work for next to nothing and as a result, they are worth next to nothing and will accomplish next to nothing. Even if they had some kind of workable plan or remote clue they would be crippled by Sarver.

    The part that really sucks is that as miserable as it’s been to watch this decline and to watch the trainwreck this season, it scan still get worse.

    We’ll probably end up with nothing for Gortat so we’ll lose out on a mediocre center who sometimes shows up to play and is a legend in his own fertile imagination. Delusoinal as he may be having no real center again would suck..again. I guess. Most of the time it’s hard to consider gortat a “true center” because he all but disappears against anyone with talent or size.

  • Voqar

    Somehow I miss Beasley’s moments of scoring and looking good. Every time I watch, he’s hurling bricks and the rim is crying for mercy – if he even hits rim.

    I guess if you shoot enough you will eventually score…while you lose games.

    Beasely probably holds the record for most travelling calls against in a season and we’re not even done yet.

    I feel bad for Gentry because when they signed Beasely he had to act pleased when he was probably thinking inside, these fucking clowns just signed a permanently high and brainless dipshit who flushed his talent down a toilet of not giving a fuck with his weed.

  • DBreezy

    @John,

    Those numbers are the maximum that Gortat can get in an extension. I got them from an article earlier this year about Gortat turning down the offer. The most they can offer is something like 7% raises startng with the last year of his current deal which is quite affordable. He can get more if he goes all the way to free agency which is at least one of the reasons he has stated his intention to do just that.

    Idk that the Suns are willing or should offer him more than 8M or so when you consider his game, the current state of the team and to some degree his age although I’m not as concerned about that as some. Look at the Cavs whowere reported to be actively shopping Varajeo before his injury. He has been consistent for longer than Marcin and was having an All Star season before the injury on a young team that doesn’t really have any big contracts anymore. The Suns could resemble that over the next few seasons.

  • IowaPhXfan

    @john

    1. You want to have to teach a guard how to shoot? Rondo and Wall are only 2 I can think of that can’t shoot and still considered good pgs. Both athletic freaks. Boston might be better offensively without Rondo, they’ll miss him most on defense. Wall is highly overrated, has one of worst shooting percentages for a guard, he should really never shoot outside 15 ft again. (30% for career)

    2. I’d argue you need to be decently quick and athletic to guard just about any of the playoff team pgs…(CP3, RW, Parker, Bledsoe, Conley, Harden/Lin, Lillard, Lawson, Curry….) Otherwise you’re hiding your pg on defense like we tried with Nash.

    Fact and Fact.

  • IowaPhXfan

    @Scott

    Perkins back to Boston? Ummm….are you high?

    I agree with Ty-Sun’s assessment of the trades.

  • john

    @DBreezy

    Ah, I see, so there are different rules for the max on extensions vs new contracts.

    @IowaPhXfan

    1. No, I wouldn’t want to have to teach a guard how to shoot when he’s already in the NBA. I never said I would, but thanks for allowing me to clarify.

    2. I would argue that there isn’t anyone in the league who can always stay in front of a quick guard. No matter what, when you’re playing a guy like Chris Paul, whoever is defending him will be relying on help quite a bit. No one is going to man up Chris Paul.

    I’m not sure where your facts were. You started by asking me a question, then you made a subjective argument (and by the way, how many teams championship teams over the past couple of decades have had great defensive PG’s? Any of the Chicago teams? Houston? LA? SA? Could Billups have been considered a defensive stalwart in those days? I don’t think Miami had a great defensive PG for either of their ‘ships, but maybe I’m forgetting someone. Would you still consider Kidd a great defender when he was with Dallas? In all honesty, I don’t think you need a great defensive PG in the slightest. I think it’s important to have someone who is smart and works on team defense, but individual, man-up defense from the PG spot has never been all that critical in my opinion).

    So, by “fact and fact,” I’m assuming you meant, “question and statement.”

  • IowaPhXfan

    @john

    1. So we agree, neither of us want a guard who can’t shoot. There’s no debate. You just made it sound like it’s not a big deal, like lots of guards who can’t shoot become good shooters. You gave one example of Jason Kidd 10 yrs into his career…congrats. 1 out of 1000. I’m no math professor but I don’t like those odds.

    2. So since nobody can guard Chris Paul, who cares if you put Nash on him or Westbrook…same diff! Right?? That’s the lamest argument ever. Sorry but there’s a huge difference. If you can limit the pg from penetrating it takes away a ton of offense.

    No, the pg position is not necessary to win a championship if you have 2-3 all-stars at other positions. That’s exactly the reason this debate is relevant…last I checked Phx is nowhere near an all-star at any position. Easiest way to become a contender from this point? Get an elite pg. Chicago/LA/SA/Hou all had multiple HALL OF FAMERS. If Phx gets a couple HALL OF FAMERS then a monkey can be pg for all I care!
    I’m fine with Dragic, I think he can be a very good pg. The better the pg the less the talent around them needs to be….hence why teams with MJ, Lebron, Kobe don’t need much talent at pg. If Phx dropped down to Marshall at pg I think all it does is increase the amount of talent you need around him to contend, thinking 3 all-stars. With Dragic, I think all you need is 1-2 all-stars around him to contend. That’s the difference. When Felton went out for the Knicks this year they went 6-6. They’re 25-9 with him. That’s the difference in the dropoff for them. Felton is much better at penetrating to get open shots for all their shooters. Without him the Knicks are just a bunch of 1 on 1 shooters with no one to get them the ball.

    If your pg can’t beat his guy off the dribble consistently, then you better have someone else you can throw the ball to in order to create offense (i.e. Lebron, Kobe, Durant, Duncan, MJ, Hakeem, Dwight, Dirk) All these guys made it to finals in last 20 yrs, the other teams? Detroit (Billups), Philly (Iverson), Phx (KJ), Boston (Rondo), Seattle (GP), Nets (Kidd), Utah (Stockton)……

  • john

    If the question is, “You have to guard Chris Paul for one game, would you rather have Rajon Rondo or Steve Nash?” then the answer is obvious. That’s never the question, though. There are four other guys on the court for each team.

    My argument, to put it more simply, is that an elite defensive presence at an individual position is not necessary for a team to put forth a solid (or even great) defensive effort. And furthermore, if any position on the court can be “skimped” on defensively, the PG position would be it.

    Would I rather have the greatest defensive PG in history or someone else? That’s not the right kind of question. The right kind of question in this discussion is, “Can Marshall’s supposed (I say supposed because he hasn’t really had a chance to prove himself one way or another yet in the NBA) faults be covered by a solid team defensive concept and, say, a defensive stud at the 4 or 5?”

    Right now, that’s a question that won’t be able to be answered, as the Suns don’t have that stopper or the team defense mentality to cover Marshall’s faults. But, with personnel changes, who knows what could happen. If bad defensive PG’s have won in the past (which they have in plenty), bad defensive PG’s can win in the future.

  • IowaPhXfan

    @john

    I agree with pretty much everything you said. We’re basically agreeing with each other at this point.

    My only point is that I think it is much easier/quicker to get back to a contending level by having an excellent pg because a pg can create tons of offense for his team and also limit tons of offense for the other team. I’d rather have a great pg than have to find 3 great players to makeup for a bad pg. Look at NO couple yrs ago with Chris Paul, he had no help but he made them a threat because of his ability to penetrate and his defense. Add one really good big guy and they would’ve been contenders. Without a great pg you need a really good big man, forward, and wing. (Gasol/Bynum/Kobe, Lebron/Wade/Bosh)….much easier to try and find 1-2 great players with one being a pg than to try and find 3-4 great players without a very good pg.

  • john

    Indeed. I think we were mostly agreeing to begin with as well, just emphasizing different points. I typically agree with you (and I even agree that I don’t think Marshall will amount to anything in the NBA), I just felt like playing the devil’s advocate on this one.

  • IowaPhXfan

    Apparently we both enjoy playing devil’s advocate, haha. I suppose it’s what forums are meant for. At least I think we both agree that Phx has a long ways to go before we are talking about contending again. Sigh.

  • DBreezy

    I think something that isn’t mentioned often by pundits is that while the change in hand checking rules absolutely helped unleash pg’s offensively, it hurt the slower ones defensively-especially since the majority of NBA teams are poor in zone D. Years ago, a guy like Marshall would have been taught to get really strong and use hand checks and angles to be strong on D. Doc Rivers has talked about this before in interviews with respect to his career.

  • ghoulbuns

    Lol @ the Lon Babby alias