The Arizona desert is on fire. If the 8-0 they signed in the Orlando bubble surprised, the start of this 2020-21 season is not far behind. Phoenix Suns bet heavily on the market for Chris Paul, and just that day we understood that they wanted to step forward to be a playoff team – they have not achieved it for a decade – the point is that they are not only on track to achieve that goal, but that at this moment they are the first classified in the Western Conference!
So is. The Suns have played six games and count five of them for a win, building a 5-1 record that no one else can match on their side of the coast. Last night, in Denver against the Nuggets, they had a difficult challenge; they got over it. Seated in a stellar trio formed by the aforementioned Chris Paul (21 points and 6 assists), Devin Booker (22 points) and DeAndre Ayton (22 points and 11 rebounds) defeated one of the toughest rivals in the West after dominating much of the meeting with incomes that were around 10 points. The Colorado team pushed late, but Phoenix held out for another prestigious 103-106 victory.
The signing of Chris Paul sounds better every day. His enormous basketball qualities surfaced once again to the satisfaction of Monty Williams, but what really fell in love with his coach was his expertise in convincing him to use the challenge at a critical moment of the meeting. With Phoenix 100-102 up and 30 seconds to go, the officials called a foul on Mikal Bridges that sent Gary Harris to the free throw line. CP3, who did not see it clearly, urged his head coach to use the challenge to challenge the arbitration decision. Williams ignored him and the footage appeared to show there was no contact between the players involved. The foul was canceled, Ayton won the jump between two and then Paul scored to leave the game sentence.
“In general, the fouls are not canceled. But he said to me: ‘Coach, why not?’… This is how it happened. He is an asset to our team in many ways. That he is able to score shots, and that he has the ability and the will to make them, is also vitally important to us, ”says Williams.
Denver, the coin cross
The current finalists from the West are having a hard time. Last night Jamal Murray went to 31 points and Nikola Jokic touched the triple-double with 17 points, 11 assists and 9 rebounds. It was insufficient. Although they rallied from a 16-point deficit in the third quarter, they ultimately did not complete the feat and their locker currently reflects a painful 1-4 record. They need to improve and Mike Malone knows it.
“Tonight we did a lot of things that were really good. We gave ourselves a chance to win. But we are not in the first or second year of the project, in which that could become acceptable. We have lost another game, another game that we played at home. We have to be better ”.
Beyond the development of the meeting, those from Colorado could not count on one of their best players: Michael Porter Jr. The forward was injured by having to comply with the health and safety protocol devised by the NBA in the fight against the pandemic of coronavirus. His absence was as noticeable as the 19.5 points per night he’s averaging this season.
(Photo by Matthew Stockman / Getty Images)