Josh Jackson tells The Undefeated the Suns are closer since loss to Denver

Jan 31, 2019, 10:15 AM | Updated: 11:38 am

Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson, left, listens to assistant coach Joe Prunty during a timeout in ...

Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson, left, listens to assistant coach Joe Prunty during a timeout in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

On Friday, the Phoenix Suns lost by 37 points to the Denver Nuggets, who were playing without star center Nikola Jokic.

The Suns’ locker room didn’t open for almost an hour after the game, according to Gina Mizell of the Athletic, as the team took “long showers.”

Translation? A closed-door talk in the locker room, veteran shooting guard Jamal Crawford said.

The Suns have lost both their games since, but small forward Josh Jackson told The Undefeated the team is closer since the blow-up and postgame conversation.

After the loss in Denver [on Jan. 25], we got closer. Guys were more open to saying what they thought and how they felt. It’s because most of us haven’t been around each other that long and don’t know each other that well. So just being able to have that open relationship where you can talk and say how you feel and what you think, knowing that each guy is all here for a common goal, I feel like we all got a lot closer.

Expectations were higher this season than last after signing shooting guard Devin Booker to a maximum extension, drafting Deandre Ayton and hiring a new head coach in Igor Kokoskov.

Despite that, the team is 11-42 and on a nine-game losing streak.

But the Suns did play better Tuesday. The Spurs won on a buzzer-beater, after which San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich said his team was fortunate to win and “Phoenix got robbed.”

Jackson told The Undefeated his chemistry with teammates is improving.

It’s been really showing. I feel like I am getting a lot more help from my teammates as far as making sure I am in the right position and making sure I have the ball when I am in my comfortable spots. They know where I am comfortable. I know where they want the ball, so my assists are going up. So that has been really helpful.

He has been averaging 2.7 assists this month, almost twice as many as last season’s average of 1.5 per game.

Phoenix will have a chance to break the losing streak at home against the Atlanta Hawks (16-34) on Saturday.


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