For the second consecutive game, the Phoenix Suns had lost before the first 12 minutes had gone off the clock, yet there were a few bright spots in a dark defeat.
Losing is never good for a basketball team. Losing by 27 points on national TV in a game that was not even that close was just flat-out embarrassing. As the second consecutive blowout defeat, the game had a similar feel to the end of last season, when Dallas rode roughshod over the Suns. And while there is plenty that went wrong in the loss, there are two positives Phoenix can take from the game.
CP3 was back in action for the Phoenix Suns
After missing 14 games with a heel injury, it was positive to see Chris Paul back on the floor for Phoenix. Paul started and played 24 minutes – about the same as the other stars in the lopsided loss. On a night when we expected the Suns’ stars to shine, they never got going.
Early in the game, Paul looked hungry and sharp on the ball, dishing out three early assists, including an assist to Mikal Bridges on the game’s first possession. However, as the Suns went ice cold from the field, the assists dried up, and Paul’s jumper didn’t help. His shot alluded him as he went 2-6 and only scored four points, equal to his four assists.
Regardless of the game’s outcome or Paul’s general performance overall, it is a net positive in the long run to have CP3 back on the court and in control of the offense. If for nothing else, Paul’s return to the lineup takes some pressure, wear, and tear off Devin Booker.
Craig is the one real bright spot for the Suns in the loss to the Celtics
Although the team got off to a terrible first quarter overall, managing just 21 points and trailing by 10, that was no fault of Torrey Craig’s. The Phoenix swingman, who has stepped into the starting lineup in the absence of Cam Johnson, had missed the previous three games with an injury. However, any sign of the injury was invisible as Craig got off to the kind of start the team needed its stars to have.
Craig had three layups in the game’s first five minutes, keeping the Suns in it early. Craig didn’t do anything special; he just ran the floor and moved without the basketball to create opportunities.
Of course, like the rest of the team, as the game wore on, Craig regressed to the mean and missed his share of threes like everyone else on the night, but his start was one other should try to emulate.
When you lose by 27 points, there is little to be happy about; however, the return of CP3 and Craig is something Suns fans can appreciate.