The start of the 2019 season was very exciting as the new look Phoenix Suns came out of the gates hot, and opened up a shocking 7-4 and were getting notoriety as a good defensive team on the rise.
This was all even after the number one pick of last years draft De’Andre Ayton was suspended for 25 games for using performance enhancers. This years Suns did not come out looking like the same old Suns of the last few years which had a low level of competitiveness.
Now 20 games into the season the team seems to have hit a brick wall, and cannot do the things that got them noticed as a respectable team.
Injuries play a big part in the equation as Head Coach Monty Williams tries to keep the team competing at a high level through major losses in personnel. Aaron Baynes being the center piece that was holding the teams effort together has been in and out of the line up the last few weeks.
Suns are now 9-11 after an embarrassing loss to the Orlando Magic in Florida, losing 128-114 and it wasn’t even that close as the suns were down by as many as 23.
One thing that has been missing so far is the take-over mentality from supposed star guard Devin Booker, whom lately has not been able to get himself going in the most crutial point in the game.
Booker has yet to show he has what it takes to elevate a team and make it relevant through an entire 10 game stretch let alone a full season.
The points Booker scores in the game are points that are not significant to putting a stamp on a win by his hand, he makes plays but in the crunch time of a game in the fourth quarter he fades away. As we said in previous articles he is turning the ball over at a high rate and struggles still with blitz style double teams.
On the road for Booker 17 points and five assist is hardly enough to hold down the fort until reinforcements return from injury, and he will have to pick it up if he wants to be in this years All-Star voting.
Kelly Oubre has displayed clutch ability more so than Booker, as he continues to take big shots in crucial moments of the game, but has to do it more consistently to show up on the radar as an up and coming player.
The night must be going bad if you are led by Frank Kaminsky in the scoring department with 23 points, but its the defensive side of the ball that has really wained over the last few weeks.
Suns are giving up the 3 ball to opponents at a high rate, and continue to do they unthinkable fouling those three point shooters while shooting and giving up four point opportunities.
58% from the field tonight and 14/25 from beyond the arc for the @OrlandoMagic! 👏🏼
— FOX Sports Florida & Sun (@FOXSportsFL) December 5, 2019
Are they the same old Suns? that will be determined after seeing them at full strength at some point during the season, and how hungry and angry will Ayton be on the floor? that will determine if this team is for real or not.