The Suns suffered an embarrassing loss to the Clippers

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PHOENIX — Monday’s solar eclipse was supposedly the first since 2017, but astrologists must not have been checking the night skies this Phoenix Suns season when certain stars are absent and how the sun is completely enveloped as a result.
Stakes could not be higher in the last week of the regular season with a potential play-in tournament fate in waiting.
The Suns themselves said the playoffs basically started for them two weeks ago.
That’s what it’s like watching this Suns team sometimes.
But we win and lose as a team and that’s what we talk about every single day.
Choose how much credit you want to provide the Suns for the push in the last two quarters.
If there’s a basketball takeaway, it’s that Phoenix needs to abandon a second center in the rotation and employ small-ball lineups frequently.
The Suns might need the Kings to beat the Pelicans to bring New Orleans’ loss total equal to Phoenix’s before the Suns have to defeat Sacramento to secure a tiebreaker that might now be necessary.

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PHOENIX — Although Monday’s solar eclipse was ostensibly the first since 2017, astrologists must not have been observing the night skies this Phoenix Suns season to note when specific stars disappear and how the sun is engulfed as a result.

Tuesday’s 105-92 drubbing of the Los Angeles Clippers, who are without Kawhi Leonard (right knee inflammation) and James Harden (right foot inflammation), demonstrated Phoenix’s embarrassing incapacity to raise its game when the opposition is missing its best players.

The final score appeared much better than it actually was, thanks to a second half comeback to pull within seven after trailing by as much as 37.

The final week of the regular season is when everything is at stake because it could determine who advances to the play-in tournament. As per the Suns, their playoff journey essentially commenced two weeks prior.

But sometimes it feels like watching this Suns team—you know, the way an organism consumes itself?

We all felt like, “Oh no, here we go again,” after a few initial careless mistakes. They kept missing half-decent glances as the audience became increasingly agitated. At Footprint Center, a 35-4 start to the game tore apart the wounds from the previous two playoff exits, and Suns supporters were booing in droves before the score even got that ridiculous. They cackled mockingly when Devin Booker made his first of two free throws to break a 5:18 scoreless drought.

The franchise’s face, Booker, who has supported them through all of its highs and lows, was being made fun of by them. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t supposed to be him. The jeers were well-earned.

Phoenix’s unwavering indications that this is who they are finally materialized with startling efficiency. Every little uptick in performance since Christmas has been matched with head scratchers like Tuesday. If the Suns’ defeat in San Antonio without Victor Wembanyama wasn’t the final straw for many fans who had given up on this team’s future, then this was the last straw that crushed any lingering hope for this season.

The issue of accountability in the locker room is raised by all of the ridiculous defeats and terrible court connectivity. Kevin Durant, Booker, and head coach Frank Vogel described it as follows.

Booker: “Compared to earlier in the season, I would say it’s better now. “.

Vogel: “My goal is to defeat them tomorrow.”. “.

In response to a follow-up question about whether he thought his team had accountability, Vogel said, “Of course.”. “.

Durant first requested an explanation of the question before learning that the fans were curious about the kinds of conversations taking place at this stage of the season.

Durant stated, “We discussed the game and what we need to improve, but we’re not placing the blame on any one player or anybody else. “I suppose assigning blame is what the supporters want to do. However, as a team, we discuss our victories and defeats daily. That’s usually the talk, because we can all play better. I am aware that some people wish to hold the coach or a single player accountable, but as a team, we win and lose. “.

Please don’t take offense, but if you were hoping to find a quote describing how terrible Tuesday became, none came close to doing it justice. Booker’s admission that he is aware of the way defeats like Tuesday can snowball was the closest thing.

Determine the amount of credit you wish to give the Suns for their recent two-quarter surge. The supporters, who tried to ignite a spark alongside their team as soon as momentum began to build, are the ones who do deserve some credit.

If there’s one thing to learn about basketball, it’s that Phoenix should frequently use small-ball lineups and drop their second center in the rotation.

Vogel uses the five-out groups the Suns (46-33) need to activate their offense, but only as a last resort, as he did to start the second half, despite multiple indications that doing so is not the best use of a backup center. His teams typically have large frontcourts, so it’s not in line with his style to reduce the amount of physicality even further, but it’s past time to adjust to what works best for the team.

For Wednesday’s rematch in Los Angeles (51-28), Jusuf Nurkic’s status is uncertain due to a right ankle sprain.

The Suns dropped back to No. 2 after a New Orleans Pelicans (47-32) victory. 7 places in the rankings. After trailing the Oklahoma City Thunder by 20 points in the final minutes, both teams were lucky to lose to the Sacramento Kings (45–34).

On Thursday and Friday, Sacramento will play New Orleans and Phoenix. The Suns may need the Kings to defeat the Pelicans in order to tie Phoenix’s loss total with New Orleans’ before they can advance to the tiebreaker, which may now be required.

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