Washington Wizards 101, Phoenix Suns 95 -- Big win hangover


PHOENIX – It’s one thing for the Phoenix Suns to talk about bringing their best against sub-.500 teams and another to do it. For all the warnings about how they needed to carry a big win against the Pacers into games against the rest of the field, the Suns didn’t.

They paid.

The Suns dropped the get-away game to the Washington Wizards, 101-95, on Friday at U.S. Airways Center by doing all the things they’d seemingly gotten away from. They lost on the boards, especially those of the offensive variety, and turned the ball over at a prolific rate.

In the third quarter alone, the Suns were outscored 31-19 thanks to seven turnovers leading to 14 points. In total, Phoenix gave the ball up 22 times resulting in 26 points. On the rebounding front, Phoenix lost 44-30 and allowed the Wizards to collect 19 offensive rebounds.

While Washington didn’t score on a whole lot of the second chances, it certainly helped the tempo remain in its favor. The Suns’ low scoring output put them in an uncomfortable halfcourt game all night long, where they seemed too set on pushing for matchups rather than simply running the offense.

Goran Dragic found Miles Plumlee with an in-between the legs pass for a dunk to bring the score to 97-95, but Bradley Beal hit a long two-point jumper atop the key that was the dagger with 26 seconds left. Channing Frye couldn’t hit a three, and Dragic missed another opportunity from deep after an offensive rebound, and the Wizards had stolen a gutty road win to help ease the pain of an embarrassing loss to the Boston Celtics a game prior.

Coming into the game Friday, the Suns were averaging just more than 11 turnovers per game in the month of January, and they had reached 11 by halftime. They shot 47.9 percent overall, but the total dropped off dramatically in the second half. Phoenix scored just 38 points in the second half and shot 37.8 percent, but the real issue might have been the defense, which wasn’t aided by the turnover rate.

Here’s to answering some pregame queries.

Can the Wizards defend the three?

This should have been phrased, “Will they try to defend the three?” because Nene wanted no part in even attempting to chase Channing Frye around the perimeter. Frye started 4-for-5 from deep in the first quarter before Randy Wittman even thought of taking Nene out of the game.

But after that, the Wizards got it together. Gerald Green couldn’t find daylight on the offensive end and went 0-of-4 from deep. He scored just eight points on the night.

As a team, the Suns went 7-for-22, including a 1-for-7 third quarter and 0-for-5 fourth.

Will the bench unit continue to produce?

Markieff Morris scored 13 points and Leandro Barbosa added 10, but the Suns’ second unit struggled even moreso than the first on the glass. Six-foot point guard Ish Smith played 14 minutes and grabbed four rebounds, just as the Morris twins did in 38 minutes combined.

And unlike Ish Smith had in the last two outings, the third-string point guard didn’t offense much against a big backcourt of the Wizards.

What’s the over/under on amazing Marcin Gortat things?

Set at 9.5 before the game, the over/under probably could have been set higher. This is a generous count of Marcin Gortat doing Marcin Gortat things throughout the game. We started off with two funny quotes before tip even happened.

And this is what we’re at just after the final buzzer. Gortat scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds while his replacement in Phoenix, Miles Plumlee had 14 points and six rebounds.

  • 2 funny pregame quotes
  • 3 times adjusting his sweatbands
  • 3 missed attempts at the rim
  • 1 hands on head
  • 1 lost offensive board to Ish Smith
  • 1 watching Miles Plumlee take off from 8 feet out and dunk on the same play as above

  • EBJM

    Beaten by Ariza and Beal. Man, what happened to Green?

  • CART jeff

    Suns need a player with an anchor to counter players like Cousins and Nene. Nene guarded Tucker in 4th quarter and pretty much dared him to shoot. He helped out on defense and caused all kinds of problems. The Frye with Tucker lineup was exposed. They needed to put one of the Morris twins in for Tucker at the end.

  • J

    This team is as desperate as it comes for rebounding. If they could have boarded even decently they would have won the game pretty easily, even with the TO’s. Its sad that our 2nd best rebounder is Tucker at 6’6″ when we have the Morris bros at 6’10″ and Frye the tallest guy on our team just at 7 foot. Obviously this has all been said before, but they are good at making sure it stays fresh in your mind.

  • Luka

    It needs to keep being said. Frye is pitiful on the defensive end. When Nene put a spin move on him and flushed it, I knew the game was over.

  • sunsn7

    Again, cant get too high or too low.

    Many of us saw this letdown coming. Too bad the Young Suns didn’t

  • http://valleyofthesuns.com hawki

    From the D-League

    Archie Goodwin scored 32 pts & had 8 rebounds for Bakersfield last night.

    Archie was 7-22 from the field…3-8 from 3 pt land &^ hit 15 of 18 FT’s.
    Archie had 1 assist, 4 to’s & fouled out in 41 minutes of play.
    Bakersfield lost…114-96.

  • BCrayZ

    Luka seems like the “pitiful” one.

    Frye plays much better D than most of the Suns.

    Nene knows how to score. Has Frye not shut down Timmy, Dirk, LMA, Faried & Love, just to name a few, so far this year? Just last year, the Wizards swept the Suns, who were with Gogi but without Frye. Year before last, Suns with Frye but without Gogi did the sweeping. Small sample size? Year before that it was the same. Last night’s game was decided on poor defense on Beal in Q4. Was Frye responsible for that? Jeff made a poor decision on the line up to end the game. With Gogi & Frye joined by Barbosa, the Suns were making a late charge to take over the game. Then Jeff took Barbosa out in favor of his “regular” starting unit. Does Jeff not remember that it was not the starting unit that has been winning the game in Q4? LB had by far the best (+/-) for the game. He was plus 12, with not a single starter in the plus. Just remember what he brought to the Suns in Q4 in Madison Square Garden. This is our “go-to scorer” to close out the game. Make it so Jeff.

    MUST start & ALSO finish with LB. Let’s go SUNS!!!!

  • Rengaw

    As much as I love to watch the Suns play, I wince at the sight of Frye trying or not trying to play defense.

    He rarely iniates contact…..He is pathetic at slipping his man to pick up drivers…..He miss plays pick and rolls most of the time….He doesn’t maneuver for rebounds, he reaches over…..After he bodies his man, he reaches in and commits silly fouls. And then to top it off, he complains about nearly every foul.

    Frye certainly isn’t a player the Suns want to keep around. If he isn’t gone by the trading deadline, surely he wont be here next year. He does have some value as a guy who can draw bigs out of the paint as no one his size, except Dirk, can shoot the three as well.

  • EBJM

    Fyre’s man, Nene had a +11 while Frye had a -7 for a net difference of 18. That was the 3rd highest among the starters.

    He was also out-scored by Nene and Nene grabbed three times as many rebounds.

    Practice makes perfect! Plumlee hit a hook shot last night!

    Bench Frye and start Alex Len with Plumlee! Len is grabbing half the rebounds that Frye does in 25% of the time. Projected over 36 minutes Len would be grabbing 12.

    Send Frye to Detroit for Greg Monroe.

  • EBJM

    MUST trade Frye and finish with a real PF.
    Lets go Suns!!!!

  • BCrayZ

    Send EBJM away.

    MUST find someone to take him off of our hands.

    This guy has not even figured out howto do 5th grade math. Very sad. What kind of dumb fool would add the (=/-) of a player to the one he guarded for anything resembling valuable info? Even a 5th grader would know that while Nene’s +11 came vs. Frye, our Chinga (Frye) managed a +4 vs. their bench bigs.. I hope this fool (EBJM) is allowed out of the house, without having to take an IQ test. What ever happened to focusing on our other big (Miles) who was (-15) for the game & therefore dragged Frye’s (+/-) down when they played at the same time? That Polish Gazelle managed to be a game high plus 17, but, I suppose you would want to blame Frye for that? Or blame him for Wall being a plus 16? Gogi, who was a minus 12 was supposed to be guarding Wall, but D is rarely played by either Gogi or Wall. Fact is that only PJ (-4) had a better (+/-) for the game than Frye, among the starters for the Suns. That is enough negativity regarding EBJM’s lack of a full deck to work with. Much rather “accentuate the positive” by looking not at who was the worst between GG14, Miles & Gogi, but who was the best. Need to give more quality playing time to our Brazilian Blur, our best at plus 12 for the game, after being 2nd best with a plus 20 (in the Pacers game). That is an average of plus 16. Make it so Jeff.

    MUST start & ALSO finish with LB. Let’s go SUNS!!!!

  • BCrayZ

    Dave King (of BSOTS) seems to think that no Suns player has ever started a playoff game.

    This is just not true. Even though this is not “Throwback Thursday”, let us go back in time.

    Suns were in a hole. They were down 3 games to 1 to the Lakers in a first round playoff game. They would need to win all 3 remaining games. Just to stay alive. How did the Suns manage this & go all the way to the WCF that year? Even to make matters worse, they had to win that next game without one of the starters, Raja Bell. Raja was suspended by the NBA for that game. Does the scene come back in your mind? He was suspended for getting Kobe into a head lock. Mike Dumb Antoni had no choice but to start Barbosa in that game. If Mike had been able to put 2 plus 2 together, he would have been happy to make a choice to start LB, inasmuch as he had been forced to start Barbosa before & since & each & every time, we won the game. This critical playoff game vs. the Lakers was no exception to the rule. Once again, even under that pressure, LB came up big time in that game. That win gave the Suns the new found momentum to do what few teams have ever been able to do, come back (after being down 3 games to 1) with the needed 3 consecutive wins. This guy is our “go to scorer” with the experience to be clutch in playoff time. Are you listening Jeff?

    MUST start & ALSO finish with LB. Let’s go SUNS!!!!

  • Luka

    Hey BCrayZ do us all a favor and stop drinking the kool aid. Frye is a horrible defender. Nene is not that great. I’ll agree that the rest of the team slacked defensively as well . But don’t start trolling here when I bring up a valid point.

    Frye and the Morris twins can have respectable games offensively. But they can’t rebound and certainly can’t defend. When Frye is reaching in on Nene to steal the ball and he gets spun on you got some damn nerve to say he isn’t “that bad” he’s a joke.

  • SarverHater22

    I have long said this : Deport Sarvie baby to Tucson !!

  • BCrayZ

    Deport Luka.

    Go back to where you came from.

    Will I call out every poor play by each player on the team? We need Frye. Suns can do much better without you. Move Barbosa to the starting unit, where he can do the most good. Have him share more court time with Gogi & Frye. Make it so Jeff.

    MUST start & ALSO finish with LB. Let’s go SUNS!!!!

  • Kent Curry

    I want the suns to draft TJ Warren, Elfrid Payton, and kyle Anderson!