EMPIRE OF THE SUNS
Summer Suns struggle offensively in loss to Wizards
NBA Summer League is a showcase for the new young talent entering the league, and it’s also a chance for a handful of prospects right on the fringe of the league to make an impression.
It’s a brand of basketball that has to be watched in a certain way, one where any hardcore takeaways should be avoided if possible. But something that is normally there for the aforementioned latter group is some of what’s keeping them from getting on an NBA roster. And that, unfortunately for the Phoenix Suns, was what to take out of the team’s 97-72 loss to the Washington Wizards.
Phoenix’s crisp offense that kept the ball moving in Friday’s win stagnated greatly on Sunday. Washington’s perimeter defense clamped down on the Suns’ primary creators on the ball like McKinley Wright IV and Louis King. Both guys, along with most of their teammates, were unable to consistently create separation and get their shoulder around a defender in order to put pressure on the defense by getting into the paint. Because of that, Phoenix struggled mightily to generate good looks.
The Suns scored 32 points in the first half with just four assists and shot 32% from the field.
A 14-4 run that bled into the early third quarter got Phoenix’s deficit down to 12 after a 19-point Wizards lead at the half but that was the last jolt it would offer in the game.
King was 2-of-11 for 10 points after a strong 20-point outing on Friday. Ish Wainright’s 5-for-9 day from 3-point range was followed by a 1-of-5 performance against Washington.
A bright spot for Phoenix was guard Tyson Carter. He and Ahmad Caver have been fun to watch as the reserve backcourt, and Carter was able to knock down a few jumpers off the dribble while finding some lanes for dribble penetration. Carter had a team-high 12 points with four rebounds and two steals.
The Suns get back in action from Summer League on Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks at 7:30 p.m.