The Phoenix Suns lost in a close battle to the Detroit Pistons 116-108. Typically losing a close game is not a bad thing, except when you lose to a bad team like the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons have six injured players on their roster including star Blake Griffin. The second to last team in the Central division in the east has 19 wins and 34 losses. This might be the game that fans finally give up on their beloved Phoenix Suns.
The Suns are on a three game losing streak, losing to two teams on the bottom of the eastern conference and without almost half of their original roster. Planet Orange allowed 116 points but had a higher three point percentage and over all shooting percentage, and yet looked as if they had absolutely no chance to win the game.
So how do you win the shooting percentage battle and lose the game to a team that was led by an old throw back center Andre Drummond, thats a question fans are asking Head Coach Monty Williams and wondering where is the defense?
The end of the first half gave hope for the Phoenix Suns. The score was 64-61 with the Suns down, but at one point they were down by 12 points to only being down by 3. The team was able to rally and scored thirteen straight points to tie the game 58 to 58, but that is where the hope ended along with the intensity it takes to win the game.
Deandre Ayton played a lot tougher this game than he has been in previous games. At one point Ayton even stripped the ball from Drummond. The bad thing is the Pistons Drummond also scored 31 points and had 19 rebounds, outplaying the Suns second year big man in both categories scoring and rebounding.
Ricky Rubio recorded 11 assists, but only four points. It seems since the return of Ayton, Monty Williams has told Rubio to spread the ball more instead of shooting it himself.
Kelly Oubre Jr. came into this contest with his name swirling around being dealt at the trading deadline, but he responded well and performed admirably showcasing for the teams looking to add a forward.
Oubre Jr. once again kept the Suns in the game with 30 points, while Devin Booker put up a good scoring output with 22 points. This seems to be the Suns Formula to losing, Kelly Oubre scores more than 25, Deandre Ayton gets a double-double, and Devin Booker scores about 25 points.
Clearly that formula should win but it has not worked, and Head Coach Monty Williams is scrambling to find bodies after all of the injuries and leaving his rotations much to be desired. Deandre Ayton can shoot the mid-range jumper very well, but won’t go hard in the paint especially when he plays against a marquee big man. It’s certainly understandable if the Phoenix Suns feel like they are in the movie Groundhog’s Day at this point, and with the trade deadline looming it seems the team will end up staying put and making no moves until next season.
The Phoenix Suns finally return home Friday which would be good news, except they face the Houston Rockets, and then Saturday face the Denver Nuggets. Good luck beating both those teams when you struggle against the Pistons.