What we know following a 48-point loss

PHOENIX, AZ - DECEMBER 23: Josh Jackson
PHOENIX, AZ - DECEMBER 23: Josh Jackson /

The Suns aren’t tanking. Devin Booker is an All-Star. A veteran presence is vital. This is not a coaching problem. Developing takes time. Fan support is necessary. The All-Star Break can’t come soon enough.

These are all things we can take away from the Suns’ 129-81 loss to the Spurs. So, let’s address them!

The Suns aren’t tanking. As much as it seems a lot of fans would prefer the Suns “tank” in order to get the #1 pick in the draft, that’s not what’s been happening. If the Suns were tanking, every game would be like this one.

These guys aren’t trying to lose games, it’s just absurd to think that. They weren’t trying to lose last night either.

If the Suns were trying to “tank” think of how unwatchable these games would be. All of the guys that sat out due to injury last night would not be playing even if they were perfectly healthy.

No one had fun watching the Suns lose by 48-points. If it was depressing to watch, just think of how all the players feel, including the ones that couldn’t play last night. This was a game that was on national tv. I’d imagine this doesn’t feel good.

No player goes on the court wanting or expecting to lose. They aren’t trying to embarrass themselves. They’re trying to win games. Even if they aren’t winning many of those games, they’re trying.

There is no positive to having the most losses in the league. This is a deep draft class, and getting the number one pick is no guarantee. The goal is to win games, and after this game, it’s safe to say that they’ve been trying.

Devin Booker is an All-Star. Maybe he’s not going to the game in LA this year, but this game hopefully proved to the world that Devin is an All-Star on this team. The Suns would’ve easily had at least 20 more points had Devin played, and while the Suns still would’ve lost if you add that to the score, losing by 28 is much better than losing by 48.

Devin plays with this fire, energy, and confidence. All of these seemed to be lacking last night. He makes the team better, and that’s what an All-Star does. There’s just no debate.

A veteran presence is vital at this point in time. I can’t say enough about how important Tyson Chandler and Jared Dudley are to this team. Neither really had an impact on the court tonight because Tyson sat out due to a neck injury and Jared only played six minutes, but their voices need to be heard after this loss.

It’s games like these that can deflate a team, especially a young one. These guys have been through it all. They’re here to guide them.

Just listening to Jared address the media after the game shows that these young guys are in good hands. Jared took responsibility, and apologized to the fans. Losses like these happen, it’s part of any sport. The real growth comes in the games that are played after.

This is not a coaching problem. I don’t think it’s that farfetched to say that tonight’s loss should not be blamed on Coach Triano. Devin and Tyson didn’t play, Isaiah Canaan couldn’t play, and Tyler Ulis left early with back spasms. Not to mention, no one on this team played like themselves.

This was a game that got away right from the start. Only scoring nine points in the first quarter is hard to come back from, especially against the Spurs. Sure, if all of those guys played maybe the Suns still would’ve lost, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as bad.

Developing takes time and fan support is necessary. These two are a package deal. I know it might be hard to wait for this young core to reach its full potential, but it’s no reason for fans to boo the team. Trust me, they know they played awful. They don’t need to hear it.

It’s hard to win a lot of games when everyone is still trying to establish themselves in the league. But one day, and it should be soon, they will figure it out.

Fans are there to encourage the players, not belittle them. It’s not good for confidence.

It might not help, but just look at some other teams that have been here. During the 2015-2016 season, the 76ers won 10 games all season. Now, they’re contending for a playoff spot. During the 2014-2015 season, the Timberwolves won 16 games all season. Now, they’re in fourth place in the Western Conference. And back during the 2011-2012 season, the Golden State Warriors only won 23 games. Now look at them.

Once everyone is healthy and begins to figure out their role, and the holes are addressed via the draft and trades or free agent signings, the Suns will be in this position, too. Everyone just needs to keep their heads up.

Besides, improving goes far beyond a win-loss record. Every game is a learning experience, regardless of if the team wins or loses.

And finally, the All-Star Break can’t come soon enough. The Break is just three games away for these guys. They definitely need it. Everyone is a little banged up, and they probably could use some time to mentally regroup, too.

But there are still games to be played until then. They need to go out and give it their all. That’s the only way they’ll progress.