Before NBA preseason play started for them on Sunday night, the last time Phoenix Suns fans watched their team play was in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Dallas Mavericks at Footprint Center … and it was an absolute nightmare.
The Mavs beat the Suns in blowout fashion, 123-90, to move on to the Western Conference Finals. Luka Doncic, who finished with a team-high 35 points, had 27 at halftime alone — the same amount of points as the entire Suns’ roster.
After dealing with a handful of drama over the offseason, including DeAndre Ayton’s disconnect with coach Monty Williams, the Robert Sarver saga, and Jae Crowder making multiple trade requests, the team was in desperate need of a new start … a breath of fresh air.
However, what they received in their preseason opener was yet again a big dose of disappointment. The Suns took on the Adelaide 36ers on Sunday night in Phoenix and ended up losing 134-124 despite being nearly 30-point favorites. The 36ers’ duo of Craig Randall and Robert Franks combined for 67 points and 15 3-pointers, giving Suns fans flashbacks of Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie combining for 65 points in the Game 7 loss.
And this wasn’t just a case of Phoenix playing their third-stringers either, as all of their normal starters, including Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Ayton, played 22 minutes each before being pulled in the third quarter. At one point in the second quarter, the Suns were down 57-41.
"Just didn't give them the respect that they deserve as a pro team. It's a great opportunity for us to learn,” said coach Williams.
Although it was just a preseason game, the vibes surrounding the Suns continue to be mostly negative as the 2022-23 season nears. If Phoenix can’t figure out their issues soon, Doncic and the Mavs might have a repeat performance of that Game 7 when the two teams meet on opening night two weeks from now.
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