I guess we couldn’t expect the Suns to go 41-0 on the road.
When the Suns lose, I always try to look at the box score and try to figure out the one thing the team could have done better to keep themselves in the game. Unfortunately, this time there were several things Phoenix could have improved upon Friday night:
- They only scored 17 points in each of the first two quarters.
- The Suns were outscored in the first three quarters and by then the game was pretty much over.
- They allowed 52% shooting while hitting less than 41% of their own shots.
- The team was outrebounded by 14 in the game.
- Phoenix only stole the ball 5 times (although the Bulls did have 12 total turnovers) but the Bulls had 15 steals on the Suns – which they converted into 15 points.
If there is anything good that came out of this game (in which Matt Barnes and Shaquille O’Neal didn’t play), we can look at Robin Lopez’ first start in the NBA. He played 30 minutes, shot 6-9 from the field, had 7 rebounds and 14 points. Amar’e Stoudemire also continued to play well – shooting 50% from the field, 89% from the free throw line (16-18) and scoring 26 points.
I think there are some things the Suns will be able to learn from this loss to the Bulls and, while it puts a blemish on the team’s once-perfect road record, they can still look back at this game a few weeks from now and hopefully say it helped them in the long run with the experience Lopez was able to get and hopefully being able to watch the tape of the game and figure out where they went wrong.
What do you think the Suns should have done better? Is this one of those inevitable games that every NBA team loses? Or was this a let down after the three-game winning streak the Suns had going?