He stared at his haggard players, saying nothing. There were four minutes left before the break and Monty Williams had no choice but to take a time-out. Still barely in touch with the Knicks five minutes earlier (31-20), his Suns just suffered a terrible… 21-0 (52-20).
Beyond the sequence of baskets of New York, without a response from their opponents, it is the offensive level shown by the players of Arizona that asks: only 11 points in the first quarter, and 31 in the first period .
However, Monty Williams assured after the meeting that his troops got open fire. But by shooting all night with 39% success, it’s hard to do better than a mediocre total of 83 points scored – their worst offensive performance of the season – or as many as Donovan Mitchell’s Cavs… in their second stage against the Bulls.
A performance judged by the technician as “ confusingly, this happens often in this group “. The Suns coach lamented that both Julius Randle (10/12) and Jalen Brunson (just 6/11) took more free throws than his entire team: just 7 weak free throws (5/7) .” It’s hard to swallow, that’s all I said “Remember Monty Williams without risking a slip.
He added: ” The only way to overcome the hard times is to go through it, that’s what I told the guys. It’s basketball. We’ve been there before, our first year: we lost eight games in a row and finished the season winning eight in a row. Mentally and emotionally I have to make our guys stronger. »
The coach does not want to put the current bad dynamic on account of the difficulties of the calendar, with a “road trip” that started at Christmas and that will end next Wednesday. But the Suns, who have lost just six of their last seven outings, have traveled very poorly: just six wins in 19 games away from their bases.
No savior expected
The explanation? Deandre Ayton, his team’s leading scorer with just 12 points against the Knicks, struggled to find anything. ” I’m not used to not having a fighting spirit among us. I’m used to us falling behind by 100 points (sic), whether we go out and win the game, or if we still have this mentality that we’re going to win this game. Right now, we don’t have it. […] We cannot tell ourselves that someone will pity us or save us: no one will. », form a pivot probably thinking of Devin Booker.
With the latter out, the Suns have a dismal record of two wins for seven losses. Before the back health concerns started, the team was still in 3rd place in the West (16v-10d). He has dropped to 9th place (20v-18d).
Deandre Ayton still causes concern to respond to physical challenges proposed by opposing teams. “ They are trying to take advantage of us, so they strike first. But we can cash it and return it. […] We have to take shots and not let ourselves down when we don’t because in the end we have to defend on the other side of the field. This is what slows us down. We worry about the score or about not getting the shot. It affects our efforts “Judge Ayton.
Interior awaits a reaction from his team in Cleveland on Wednesday. After this meeting, Phoenix will play twice at home (Heat and Cavs) before returning to a series of non-obvious trips: Warriors, Nuggets, Wolves and Grizzlies…
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