Suns Recap: Offensive Impotence In the Bayou

Dec 30, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Tyreke Evans (1) drives past Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker (17) during the first quarter of a game at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 30, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Tyreke Evans (1) drives past Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker (17) during the first quarter of a game at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /
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 The Phoenix Suns offense continued it’s hot and cold act, dropping to arctic temperatures as they fell to the New Orleans Pelicans 90-75.

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Phoenix shot 35 percent from the field and just 28 percent from beyond the arc. The Suns have now scored less than 90 points or less in five of their last 10 games.

New Orleans didn’t shoot significantly better, but outscored the Suns 20-11 over the first 11 minutes of the fourth quarter, capped by a vicious dunk from Anthony Davis to finish up the game.

Davis, who missed the second and third quarters with a scary throat injury, finished with 19 points and nine rebounds. The Pelicans had four other players in double figures and completely flustered the Suns on the defensive end.

New Orleans forced Phoenix into terrible possession after terrible possession as the Suns routinely found themselves throwing up desperate heaves as the shot clock expired. Even when Phoenix managed to get to the rim, they were most often denied as the Pellies had an obscene 13 blocks on the night.

The Suns only scored 12 more points the entire game than the 63 they dropped in the first half against Dallas on Wednesday.

Archie Goodwin had one of the few exceptions when he made this smart cut off the ball and finished emphatically off a beautiful bounce pass from T.J. Warren:

Eric Bledsoe was the shiny wrapper in this garbage pile of a performance, matching Davis’s 19 points on 7-19 shooting.

The Brow Goes Down

Anthony Davis isn’t going to win the MVP, but that doesn’t mean he’s not deserving of it. Davis’s 30.78 PER is the 11th highest in league history, he’s put together more 25-10-5 (points, rebounds, blocks) games than the rest of the league combined and has just generally been a freakishly long armed, one eyebrow menace.

All of that is long-winded way of saying the Pelicans can’t afford to lose Davis as they fight for their playoff lives and that’s exactly what happened when Earl Barron accidentally hit him in the Adam’s apple as both went for a rebound.

Davis accumulated 13 points and four rebounds in the first quarter before his injury, but the Pelicans didn’t really miss him.

Davis ignited the crowd when he checked himself back in at the start of the fourth.

Butter Fingers

With just under 11 minutes left in the game, Markieff Morris soared high for a rebound only to see it slip right through his hands. Tyreke Evans snagged it and found an ever aware Anthony Davis cutting to the basket for a layup plus the foul.

That was the missed rebound that probably put the game away, but it was a representative of the Suns’ struggles corralling the ball all night.

Omer Asik finished with 18 rebounds, six on the offensive end and countless tipped balls on a night when Phoenix couldn’t afford to give away possessions and remain competitive.

Going Green

There were injuries on the Suns side as well as Gerald Green missed the second half with a sore back and Reggie Bullock left with a possible concussion. The injury took on some extra significance with this quite possibly being Green’s third to last game in a Suns uniform.

One of the factors in Green’s benching over the second half of the year has been his utter inability or refusal to pass the basketball. Green’s 10.9 assist percentage is his highest since 2007 and is still anemic. About half way through the second quarter Green blew by his man, drew help and tossed a overhead pas s against his momentum to Markieff Morris for an an open trey.

It’s a routine NBA play, that most of the leagues better guards (and every Spur ever) makes, but for Green that kind of unselfishness is all too rare. Green’s been playing great over his last three putting up 23 points per in just over 25 minutes a game and if he made simple plays like that slightly more often his days as a Sun wouldn’t be down to single digits.

Next: Should The Phoenix Suns Re-Sign Brandon Knight?

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