PHOENIX SUNS

Windhorst: In the Western Conference, bring it or get embarrassed

Nov 1, 2018, 12:15 PM | Updated: Nov 2, 2018, 11:36 am
Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) drives by San Antonio Spurs guard Marco Belinelli during th...
Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) drives by San Antonio Spurs guard Marco Belinelli during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018, in Phoenix. The Spurs defeated the Suns 120-90. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Despite spending most of Halloween watching Derrick Rose score 50 points against the Utah Jazz, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst saw enough from the Phoenix Suns’ 120-90 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday to determine the Suns need to show more effort in order to be competitive.

“The effort level last night was not indicative of a team that was trying to break out of a 1-5 slump,” Windhorst told Bickley and Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

“In the Western Conference, if you don’t bring it, if you don’t come with intensity, you can get embarrassed on a regular basis.”

Through their first seven games of the season, the Suns have the worst average scoring differential in the NBA at -14.7 points per game. The Washington Wizards are second worst at -10.6.

However, it is early in the season and with star shooting guard Devin Booker sidelined for three of the Suns’ first seven games, some young players have been stepping up in his absence.

“There’s some positive things. (Deandre) Ayton has had some good games. I know (Mikal) Bridges had a good game last night and certainly you don’t expect a team to play its best when its best player just is not there,” Windhorst said.

Even with those developing core pieces, the Suns still have a long way to go if they want to be in playoff contention.

“You would have though that with this many high picks, they would have more guys that you would be excited about besides Booker. Ayton could be there, Bridges could be there, but they are not there yet,” Windhorst said.

Another problem Windhorst sees in the Suns is the development at point guard.

“The Suns arguably had the worst point guard situation in the league last year,” Windhorst said. “When training camp began, they had not solved it. To be honest, they are not even close to solving it, as far as I can tell.”

Phoenix Suns

Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns looks to pass around Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets d...
Jake Anderson

James Jones: Suns preferred deal shorter than 5 years for Deandre Ayton

Suns GM James Jones said Deandre Ayton wanted nothing less than five years, but the team wasn't interested in offering a contract that long.
20 hours ago
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) becomes entangled with Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul during ...
Arizona Sports

Where do the Phoenix Suns stack up in the NBA’s championship tier?

Listed are our preseason power rankings for the top five teams they believe will compete for the title, including the Phoenix Suns.
20 hours ago
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, left, goes up for a basket as Denver Nuggets forward Will Barton d...
Kellan Olson

Suns treating opener against Nuggets like Game 1 despite last season’s sweep

The Phoenix Suns are not going to get ahead of themselves in the season opener against the Denver Nuggets despite sweeping them last year.
20 hours ago
Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball under pressure from Rajon Rondo #4 of the Los An...
Arizona Sports

Setting expectations: Arizona Sports roundtable predicts win total for Suns

At the beginning of last year, it was assumed expected the Suns would make the playoffs. Now, it's about challenging for the conference.
20 hours ago
Phoenix Suns forward Chandler Hutchison (35) passes as Portland Trail Blazers forward Larry Nance J...
Nicholas Hodell

Phoenix Suns have top-6 odds to win 2021-22 NBA championship

Oddsmakers at FanDuel are expecting the Phoenix Suns to be right in the mix for another NBA championship in 2021-22.
20 hours ago
Landry Shamet #14 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball during the NBA preseason game at Footprint C...
Arizona Sports

Landry Shamet already feeling right at home with Suns

Landry Shamet has not played for the Suns yet, so that made it somewhat of a surprise that he was inked to a four-year contract extension.
20 hours ago
Windhorst: In the Western Conference, bring it or get embarrassed