More aggressive play could propel the Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns Deandre Ayton (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns Deandre Ayton (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns had one of their best games of the season last night, and they were propelled by better effort and more aggressive play.

It’s no secret the Phoenix Suns have struggled to start the season, but they had a great game in their 20 point win over the San Antonio Spurs, and the difference in their play was obvious. The effort was there for all 48 minutes, even when things didn’t go their way. And unlike what the final score would suggest, not everything went their way all night.

Devin Booker didn’t have nearly his best shooting game, going 5-14 from the field for 13 points. He also turned it over seven times. On most nights, this would make Booker a major negative on the floor. But against the Spurs, Booker made sure that wasn’t the case. He’s still not a great defender, but his increased effort was obvious. And he made a point to get his teammates involved and provide much needed playmaking, dropping 12 assists.

The Suns also faced some adversity in the second quarter, when the big lead they jumped out to was whittled down to almost nothing. On a normal night, that might cause this young team to quit. But this time, against a more talented team, the Suns fought back and built their lead all the way back up to 20 by the end of the game.

The Phoenix Suns gave one of their best efforts of the season last night, and it resulted in a win. They were aggressive on both ends of the floor, allowing them to hold the Spurs under 100 points for the game, something that has become a rarity in the modern NBA. Shooting 56 percent from the field, 48.4 percent from three, and 87.5 percent from the foul line didn’t hurt either.

Speaking of free throws, that’s still an indication the team can be much more aggressive. They took just eight on the game, a third of the Spurs attempts. They’re 28th in the league in free throws attempted per game. Deandre Ayton continued his inability to draw fouls, attempting just one free throw on the night. Ayton made a point to be more aggressive last night, and it showed, but he can still improve in that regard.

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Even so, the Phoenix Suns played one of their most aggressive games of the season, and it led to arguably their best win. The formula for success going forward could be as simple as more aggression and effort.