NAZ Suns finding their footing to start 2018-19 campaign

Nov 20, 2018, 6:08 AM | Updated: 8:38 am

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona Suns entered the 2018-19 regular season with four returning players and no affiliate players, a rarity in the NBA G League. The work the team did on draft day has set the potential for great things to come from this squad, even though the team is still finding its footing.

The Suns sit at 2-5 to start the year, but all seven games have come against very tough opponents. Three of the losses came against the undefeated Santa Cruz Warriors, with the other two against the 7-1 Sioux Falls Skyforce and defending champion Austin Spurs.

With head coach Bret Burchard leading the team for the first time, it’s clear the Suns are looking to get it done with their defense, as they’re giving up the 10th fewest points per game (107.4). On offense, the Suns are looking to slow it down and get quality possessions on each trip, but turnovers have proved costly so far, where they’re tied for 22nd in the league turning it over 19.6 times per game.

The Phoenix Suns have taken advantage of having their minor league affiliate so close, assigning De’Anthony Melton and Elie Okobo three times combined through the first two weeks. Both guys are back with Phoenix, but not before doing some damage in Prescott Valley.

Melton averaged 18.0 points, 7.3 assists and 7.0 rebounds in four games with the NAZ Suns, including a 19-point, 15-assist, 8-rebound game at the Iowa Wolves on Nov. 6.

Okobo played two games for NAZ and earned a double-double right out of the gate with 15 points and 10 assists. Through both contests, he averaged 18.5 points, 9.0 assists and 5.5 rebounds.

The big season highlight came on Friday night, as George King sent the fans home happy by hitting a three-pointer as time expired to lift the Suns to a win.

The Phoenix Suns two-way forward is averaging 16.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 35.4 minutes per game. King said the game-winner was the first of his career, counting professional, college and the prep level.

The Suns will take on the Salt Lake City Stars at home on Tuesday before getting a post-Thanksgiving back-to-back road set on Friday and Saturday.


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

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) argues a call during the first half of an NBA basketball game aga...
Kellan Olson

Chris Paul provides ‘jumpstart’ to Suns in bounce-back win over Lakers

Nothing like a little get right game, and that's what the Phoenix Suns got on Friday night in Los Angeles against the Lakers.
1 day ago
Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball during the second half of the NBA game at Footpr...
Arizona Sports

Chris Paul becomes 1st player with 20,000 points, 10,000 assists in NBA history

Another accolade for Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul, one of the greatest to ever do it at any position.
1 day ago
Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver attends Game Two of the 2021 WNBA Finals at Footprint ...
Arizona Sports

Jordan Schultz further details expected report coming on Suns owner Robert Sarver

Sports reporter Jordan Schultz joined Arizona Sports to provide more details on his report of a story coming on Suns owner Robert Sarver.
1 day ago
Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver walks on the court to congratulate players after the t...
Arizona Sports

Suns call unpublished story accusing owner Robert Sarver of sexism, racism full of ‘lies’

The Suns released a statement in response to an unpublished story that accuses owner Robert Sarver of racism, sexism and sexual harassment.
1 day ago
Kevin Zimmerman

Jerry Colangelo: Wait on contract part of Suns C Deandre Ayton’s growth

Jerry Colangelo understands how the business world works. He is optimistic about the Suns' lack of a contract extension with Deandre Ayton.
1 day ago
Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns laughs with Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the...
Wills Rice

Steve Nash, Chris Paul among Phoenix Suns players on NBA 75 team

The NBA released a list of the top players of all time for its 75th anniversary of the league, one that included current and former Suns players.
2 days ago
NAZ Suns finding their footing to start 2018-19 campaign