There are definitely some trends that are popping up in the numbers but so far the things I’m pointing out are probably fairly obvious to anyone who is looking at the box scores. The Suns lost their second game of the season on Wednesday and again it is on the second of a back-to-back series.

Shawn Marion dunks in a losing effort to the Atlanta Hawks. 

(NBAE Photos)

It doesn’t take a lot of high level analysis to see that the team is more tired on that second game. The Suns have only played two back-to-back series so far this season but the following trends happened in the second game:

  • The team scored less than 100 points
  • They allowed more than 100 points
  • The Suns shot less than 45%
  • They allowed a shooting percentage of more than 45%
  • The team had 30 defensive rebounds or less
  • The Suns allowed more than 54 total rebounds
  • Their opponent is +15 or more in rebounds

The only two games the team has lost are those 2nd games of a back-to-back series.� It certainly seems obvious that the team just doesn’t have as much energy in that game. For instance, in the 12 quarters of the three wins this season, the Suns only had one quarter where they scored under 20 points. In the 2 losses (8 quarters), the Suns had 4 quarters where they scored under 20 points. Put a different way, if the Suns score less than 20 points in more than 2 quarters during a game, they’ll most likely lose that game. If they score 20 or more points per quarter for the entire game, they have a good chance of winning the game.

All of this seems fairly obvious. But what also seems fairly obvious is that the Suns will eventually get their legs under them in that second game. In the 2005-2006 and the 2006-202007 seasons, the Suns needed nine games before they went on a long win streak. In 05-06, after the ninth game the Suns went on a nine game winning streak. In 06-2007, the team went on a 15 game win streak after the ninth game. No matter how much a player works out during the off-season, there is nothing like playing in a real game with your teammates. It seems like the team needs nine games to both get into shape and gel with their teammates.

So while the loss to the Hawks is definitely disappointing there seems to be some cause for optimism as the season goes on. What do you think? Do you have any other numbers you think make a difference? Do you have any questions about the numbers above? If so, e-mail me at blog@suns.com or leave a comment below.

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