The Phoenix Suns lost a bad one to the Atlanta Hawks Tuesday night. As in, there was no sense they should have lost, and they did. It was simply one frustration after another.
The Atlanta Hawks are not good at basketball. Trae Young is fun to watch. He is actually incredibly fun to watch. Probably frustrating if you’re his teammates, but to the neutral observer, he’s pure entertainment. However, his team had only won eight out of 40 games this season coming into Tuesday night, and the Phoenix Suns lost to them Tuesday night.
Ricky Rubio didn’t make the trip as he awaits the birth of his first born child, a noble reason to sit this one out. In theory, the timing of this couldn’t have worked out better. The Suns played the team with the worst record in the league; surely the rest of the group could handle this one without him. Evidently not.
Rubio would have helped, but no was was guarding Trae Young on this day. He lit up the scoreboard with 36 points and 10 assists, making several from deep.
However, without Rubio, the Suns only salvaged 20 assists. Much of that is because Booker tried to take matters into his own hands. He looked like the Booker of last season where he played the role of primary ball handler and put up 39 points. Unfortunately, like so many times last year, it culminated in a depressing Suns loss.
It also resulted in an ejection when he received his second technical foul in the closing minutes of the game when the outcome as already determined after staring down DeAndre’ Bembry following an emphatic dunk.
The frustration for Booker must be uncanny. The guy can seemingly get no respect around the league whatsoever. If LeBron James did the exact same thing, the official would cower in fear before considering giving a tech there. Granted, Booker isn’t exactly King James, but the sheer disrespect from fans, officials, and talking heads alike has to grow old.
Speaking of frustrating, this term is the best adjective to describe all that was Kelly Oubre‘s night. Tsunami Papi was in low-tide mode all game and never really got going. Part of that may be been due to Rubio’s absence, but this kind of anomalies happen to the best of them. Tuesday night was one of those nights.
On the topic of bad games, it was great to see Cam Johnson not have one. The rookie sharpshooter had been struggling as of late, but came in tonight and hit two big 3s and threw down a thunderous and-one put-back dunk. The Suns need his bench scoring and he delivered Tuesday night.
Oh, about shooting. I love Aron Baynes as much as anyone, but does he know he is allowed to shoot the ball with two hands? The big Aussie has been a big cold lately from the field, and seems to be relying a lot of the one-handed shove toward the goal from 10 feet. Not sure how this habit crept into his play, but it hasn’t served his well as of late.
You don’t need me to tell you this was a horrible loss for the Phoenix Suns. Like, really, really bad. It is arguably the worst loss of the season and comes just a time when the team was building some momentum carrying a two-game winning streak.
It is hard to say what will happen moving forward, but losses like this do not bode well for a team’s energy, which is what the Suns thrive on in order to get wins.
Let’s hope they can put this one behind them and get back to their winnings ways.