Phoenix Suns start small, Len-Ulis duo plays well in preseason loss to Jazz

Oct 6, 2017, 9:09 PM | Updated: Oct 7, 2017, 10:34 pm
Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson, right, defends against Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles, left, durin...

Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson, right, defends against Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles, left, during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The Phoenix Suns want to play faster this year, and after a quick scan of the roster, it appeared going small was the way to do so.

The Suns are experimenting with the idea in the preseason. In the first game, they did it a fair bit against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Friday night against the Utah Jazz, the team started the game small. Josh Jackson replaced Tyson Chandler in the starting lineup and the Suns went with the lineup they ran with when Chander was subbed out in Portland.

Chandler did not play in the game.

The obvious weakness of the lineup is rebounding. Chriss is already a poor rebounder for a power forward, and while T.J. Warren and Jackson are good rebounders, they cannot make up for the rebounding numbers Chriss put up in his rookie year at center.

That was a problem for the Suns, as they were outrebounded 53-39 and dropped their second preseason game 112-101.

Chriss had 10 points and seven rebounds, Jackson finished with 11 points and eight rebounds while Warren had eight points and four rebounds.

Speaking of Warren, he left the game after a fall that resulted in him getting five stitches. He did not return to the game.

A budding connection off the bench in the preseason is backup point guard Tyler Ulis and center Alex Len.

Len’s role on the team is a bit of a mystery with the team wanting to get Chriss and Dragan Bender involved at center. If he plays like he has with Ulis, however, it will be hard to bench him.

He finished with a team-high 18 points and nine rebounds, while Ulis had 14 points and six assists.

With Ulis no longer having his running mate off the bench in Williams for most of the season, he needed a new big man to click with, and early indications are that it is Len.

The Suns get the first of their three preseason games next week on Monday against the Jazz in Phoenix, the team’s first home game of the preseason.

Penguin Air


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Phoenix Suns

Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the first half of Game One of the Western Confere...
Kevin Zimmerman

ESPN’s NBA staff still mighty high on 2022-23 Phoenix Suns

If you were wondering why the Suns have attacked the offseason with tinkering, it might be time to remember the past two full seasons.
11 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles safety Marc...
Arizona Sports

Larry Fitzgerald, Pedro Gomez in 2022 Arizona Sports Hall of Fame class

Arizona Cardinals legend Larry Fitzgerald and late journalist Pedro Gomez are among the 2022 class entering the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.
11 hours ago
Kevin Durant attends "NYC Point Gods" premiere at Midnight Theatre on July 26, 2022 in New York Cit...
Dan Bickley

Kevin Durant’s exit could get messy for Nets, maybe Suns, too

By my calculations, there is only one way Durant lands in Phoenix. There must be a second act of petulance even worse than the first.
1 day ago
Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets drives to the basket as Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns defe...
Arizona Sports

Report: Kevin Durant tells Nets owner to pick him or coach, GM

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant reportedly met with team owner Joe Tsai in London on Saturday and reiterated his trade request.
2 days ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns warms up before the game against the Sacramento Kings at Gold...
Sam Graveline

ESPN’s Pelton gives Phoenix Suns ‘C+’ offseason grade

Despite the Phoenix Suns being among the few teams to dominate the offseason news cycle, ESPN's Kevin Pelton gave them a C+ grade.
2 days ago
Cameron Johnson #23 of the Phoenix Suns throws up a shot during the second half of the NBA game at ...
Kellan Olson

Suns’ Cam Johnson to coach at Basketball Without Borders camp in Australia

Cam Johnson will be coaching some of the top prospects from the Asia-Pacific region at a Basketball Without Borders camp in Australia.
4 days ago
Phoenix Suns start small, Len-Ulis duo plays well in preseason loss to Jazz