Ricky Rubio Led Suns Could Open Opportunity to Chase Final Playoff Spot

The return to Utah for Phoenix Suns Point guard Ricky Rubio turned out to be the best game of the season for he and his teammates, the signature win gives the Suns a two game win streak heading into a six game home stand that could be the most important part of the season to date.

This home trip could be the start to propel the Suns back into the talk of competing for the final spot in the playoffs, a win streak of four or more and the door is open.

The Utah Jazz usually own the Suns and dominate them on the glass and shooting percentage, and usually overwhelmed them with smothering defense in the paint in particular with center Rudy Gobbert.

The Suns hadn’t won in Utah the last 14 attempts exercised their demons with a dominate second half led by the energy of Kelly Oubre and a great defensive outing, holding the normally good shooting Jazz team to 38% from three and 47% from the field.

Planet orange also killed the Jazz on offensive rebounding 11 to 5, led by Aaron Baynes with six of the 11.

The most glaring stat of the night was how well the Suns shared the ball, winning the assist game 33 to 16 and the balanced scoring of the starting five is starting to make some noise.

The final score was 131-111 and the half time score was tied at 62 a piece, Phoenix outscored Utah in the second half 69 to 49 shooting 60% from the three on the night.

All of this great output was led by Point guard Ricky Rubio in his first return to Salt Lake City, he scored 22 points and added 11 assist and six rebounds and seven steals being active and got all of his teammates involved.

Normally on the season Rubio struggled shooting the ball, but on this night he was 6-13 from the field and 2-3 from the three, and a whopping 8-9 from the free throw line.

If the point guard can get his numbers to those percentages on a nightly basis it will significantly open up the games of all of their offensive players.

In particular All-Star guard Devin Booker and Center De’Andre Ayton, these two guys face the most double teams and blitzes and Rubio shooting well will alleviate some of those defensive strategies.

The teams signature win of the year against a playoff caliber team like the Utah Jazz, just goes to show this young team that they can in fact play with and beat any team in this league with the effort and formula they beat the Jazz.

The next six games are a home stand that feature three more playoff caliber teams, the Clippers, Bucks, and for the second time in a few weeks the defending champion Raptors.

The other games deemed winnable have to be won at home to the Pistons, Warriors, and Trailblazers without Damion Lilliard.

The current win streak at two and a winning record on this home trip could boost the Suns right at the door step of competing for the final playoff spot, considering they are playing Portland and the other teams before them are playing some pretty tough games this week.

The Memphis Grizzlies are opening up the opportunity currently on a three game losing streak and two more tough opponents to come in Houston and the Lakers, The Blazers face Boston and Indiana the next two and losing those is possible without their star point guard.

The New Orleans Hornets face the Lakers twice in the next week and could lose two more games, so the door of opportunity is open for the Suns, if they can seize this perfectly placed six game homestead and stay on a hot roll with no let downs they can jump the standings from 12 to 9 in the next week and half.

We will see what happens, but this is what the fans want to see from Planet Orange down the stretch of the season, show us what’s in store for next season and turn that corner of mediocrity to contending team on a nightly for seasons to come.

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