The new regime and new roster of the Phoenix Suns claimed its first victory tonight, defeating Maccabi Haifa of the Israeli Basketball Super League by a score of 130-89.
While it was a preseason, and against a foreign team, winning is always a positive, no matter when it happens or who it’s against. There were some impressive plays and performances by the Suns, who are in the process of deciding who will be part of the rebuilding effort that the team is engaged in.
The backcourt duo of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe looked very impressive. In the first highlight play of the game, Dragic, from half-court, set up Bledsoe on an alleyoop. Dragic ended the day with 16 points and five assists, while Bledsoe tallied 22 points and four assists. Suns first round pick Alex Len wasn’t fantastic, but put up a solid seven points and six rebounds. The good news was seeing Len moving well on the floor. Len has been nursing an ankle injury since before he was drafted, but he looked healthy in the game today. The Suns other rookie, Archie Goodwin, also looked impressive, putting up eleven points in the fourth quarter and thirteen total.
Overall, the Suns shot 62.5% from the floor, but only 29.4% from behind the arc. That number definitely has to go up for the Suns to do well against NBA opponents. The minutes were spread around to most players, though Channing Frye did not play, as he is still being reintegrated after being gone last season, and Malcolm Lee, who was out with a knee injury, was out as well.
The new era in Phoenix has started with a victory, and a crushing one at that. That’s something Suns fans should be happy to see.