ArenaPlus: 5 Takeaways from the Suns' Game 2 Loss

Poor Shooting Efficiency

The Suns faced significant shooting struggles. The team shot just 42% from the field. Devin Booker, known for his scoring prowess, only made 8 of his 22 attempts. Chris Paul failed to find his rhythm, contributing to the team's overall dismal 28% success rate from beyond the arc. The lack of consistency from key players impeded their offensive flow.

Additional factors included missed opportunities in the paint. The team scored only 34 points in the restricted area, a substantial drop from their average. These missed chances allowed the opposition to build a stronger lead while the Suns tried to find their footing.

Defense Breakdowns

  • Rotational Errors: The defense cracked under pressure, leading to numerous instances where opponents found open look opportunities.
  • Points in the Paint: The opposing team capitalized by scoring 52 points in the paint, consistently driving through weak defensive barriers.
  • Lack of Perimeter Defense: The Suns gave up 15 three-pointers, with lapses in covering shooters contributing significantly to their loss.

Defensive coordination failed, leading to frequent miscommunications and easy points for the opposition. Contending with fast breaks became a significant issue, as they allowed 20 fast break points.

Rebounding Disparity

Rebounding often determines the game’s flow, and the Suns lagged with a 43-31 rebounding deficit. Deandre Ayton could secure only 8 rebounds, unable to match the intensity of the opposition's frontcourt. On offensive rebounds, they captured just 7, compared to the opponents' 15, leading to many second-chance points.

Failing to control the boards allowed the opposition to maintain their offensive momentum. The absence of boxing out properly and securing defensive rebounds troubled the Suns throughout the game. Their fragility on the glass permitted the opposition to dominate with putbacks and extended possessions.

Lack of Bench Production

The Suns' bench players lagged significantly. They contributed only 18 points, starkly contrasting the strong 36 points from the opposing bench. Cam Payne and Landry Shamet, counted on for energizing the second unit, fell short. Adding complications, key rotation pieces couldn't maintain pace with the opposition, leaving the starters to shoulder too much of the offensive burden.

The deficiency was evident as the fatigue wore on the starting lineup. Relying heavily on primary players saw a visible decline in efficiency during the crucial fourth quarter. The bench's ineffectiveness widened the scoring gap, leaving limited room for error among the starters.

Lack of Aggression in the Paint

Driving to the basket proved insufficient for the Suns. They drew just 12 free-throw attempts, showcasing a lack of assertiveness compared to their usual aggressive playing style. The clash in points in the paint and limited free throws highlighted their hesitance.

This passive approach allowed the opponents to stay out of foul trouble, maintaining their defensive integrity. Creating fewer free-throw opportunities significantly limits scoring chances, essential in close games. The diminished aggression cost them valuable points and momentum.

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