Suns Drop Season Opener to Mavs

The Suns fell to the Dallas Mavericks by a score of 111-95.  That score doesn’t quite encapsulate how poorly the game went for Phoenix.

The most important factors in the game were turnovers and three point shooting.  The Suns finished the game with 18 turnovers, while the Mavericks only had eight turnovers.  Phoenix shot a dismal 25% from behind the arc on six of 24 shooting.  On the other hand, Dallas shot 47.6% from three point range on 10 for 21 shooting.

This was a tough loss for the Suns as they opened the season at home and were hoping to get a big win against a Mavericks team that went 0-7 in the preseason.  Another issue that the Suns faced was early foul trouble.  Tyson Chandler, Markeef Morris, and P.J. Tucker all got into foul trouble early and consequently didn’t play many minutes.  Chandler played 17 minutes picking up three points and six rebounds.  Morris only played for 11 minutes and had four points on one for six shooting.  Tucker played nine minutes and only had two points and one rebound.  Phoenix will need these guys to step up quick.

The Mavericks were aided by great play from Raymond Felton who had 18 points, four rebounds, and six assists.  Dwight Powell played surprisingly well as he racked up 12 points.  The Suns played decent defense on Dirk Nowitzki, holding him to 11 points and never really allowed him to heat up.

It’s easy to focus on the negatives in games like this, but let’s move to positives for Phoenix.  This is a segment that I want to do for every game called Which Sun(s) Shone the Brightest?

1. Devin Booker

In his NBA debut, Booker had 14 points on six for seven shooting and also pulled down three boards.  Booker was patient and smart on offense.  He attacked the basket when he had an open lane and he pulled up for outside shots when he didn’t.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what Booker can do during the rest of the season.

2. Brandon Knight

Knight looked like a leader on the court.  He finished with a team high 15 points and he added six images-9rebounds and three assists.  The Suns’ success could easily depend on Knight’s health.  If he can stay healthy this year, he could return to his all-star form.  Despite this game being tough to watch, I enjoyed watching a healthy Brandon Knight go out and do his thing.

3. Jon Leuer

Leuer was by far the most effective big man for the Suns.  He finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, and three assists.  He also played smart on offense and didn’t try to force plays that were’t there too often.  My only complaint with Leuer was that he was a bit too unselfish at times.  He could have taken a few more shots and added a few more points.  Nonetheless, Leuer looked impressive.

One more positive for the Suns was that their new all black alternate jerseys looked really good.  That is always a plus because there is nothing worse than losing big and looking bad doing it.

The Suns play the Portland Trailblazers on Friday, October 30 in Phoenix.  Tip off will be at 7:30 local time.  This will be a special game because it is the Ring of Honor ceremony for Suns’ great Steve Nash. The Suns will look to turn it around against a new look Portland team.

Mitch Krmpotich

Gonzaga University class of 2016. I'm a longtime college basketball writer and a big NBA fan. I'm also a die hard Broncos, Avalanche, Zags, and Suns fan.

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