It’s good news/bad news time already.
I realize some of you are saying it’s awfully early to break out the old BN/GN bromide to cure a headache, and those who aren’t saying that are grumbling, “What GOOD news?” But in the current philosophical idiom in sports it is what it is. So…
The good news is the Suns hit 54.4 percent of their shots. The bad news is they completed only 49 percent of their passes.
The good news is Coach Terry didn’t make the rookie mistake of having his team peak too soon before the home folks. The bad news is the Suns piqued much earlier than usual, being nailed with three technicals in the first half and committing the always mortal sin of letting the officiating become a distraction.
The good news is that the Suns suffered no broken bones. The bad news is that Raja Bell’s nose is definitely out of joint, and seems to be going about his business like somebody who is unhappy with something (or somebody).
The good news is that losing to a quality team like the Hornets is no disgrace. The bad news is that the Hornets didn’t play particularly well themselves, plus they were without the services of center Tyson Chandler, who was on the bench in street clothes (ankle), and lost sharpshooter Peja Stojakovic (foot) with eight minutes to play and the issue still somewhat in doubt — and still won going away.
And of course the really great news is that it’s still October, for pete’s sake, and the Suns deserve at least a month’s worth of mulligans to get comfortable in their new skin.
However, although he is certainly entitled to some, it is to his credit that he didn’t use even one in his post game summation. “We just didn’t bring it from the start,” he said. “We had no juice whatsoever.”
It didn’t help that every time the Suns came within striking range the Hornets would hit a big shot. But what really hurt was that the Suns had even more trouble with their own offense than the Hornets’ offense — as attested by 24 turnovers. Not only did this lead to 21 enemy points, but it also resulted in the Suns getting off only 68 shots — a figure that in recent years they had been know to reach at halftime or shortly thereafter.
In addition to undershooting, the Suns are overpassing, and compounding this hitherto unknown malady in these parts, by often throwing into double and even triple coverage.
While I realize Coach Terry is not looking for my help, I suggest he might want to pass along to his lads some advice from my old college coach, who was known to stop scrimmages and explain, “Look guys, the way it’s supposed to work, the shirts throw the ball to the shirts and the skins throw the ball to the skins” (it was a small college and we couldn’t afford different colored jersey).
The bottom line: It’s way too early to do any serious worrying, but a little carping and fretting can’t hurt.