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How do you explain losing by 48 points in the season-opener?
“We just got our asses kicked from beginning to end,” Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker told reporters after the team’s season-opening 124-76 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
This is the Suns’ 50th anniversary season. The game was at home. Everything was there for a big night. Instead, it was the worst night in franchise history.
Booker, the team’s scoring machine, was held to 12 points. The Blazers did a lot of things right, for sure. But the Suns did plenty wrong.
Not surprising, considering the Suns are the league’s youngest team. There were turnovers, missed assignments, too much standing and watching Damian Lillard (27 points) and the Blazers do their thing.
“We can’t come in here thinking our age is an issue,” Suns coach Earl Watson told the media. “When you get into this game, you get into this league you have to play a certain way, in the paint, out of the paint, mindset, continue to play every possession like it’s your last. … We have to play better, we have to play at a certain level, we have to play at a certain intensity.”
On the bright side (OK, maybe not so much “bright” as flickering flame of hope side), rookie forward Josh Jackson started and scored 11. And rookie forward Alec Peters was a plus-one off the bench. In a game like this, being a plus-one in anything says a lot.
Bottom line? The Suns have a long way to go. They knew that already. But it may be longer than even they imagined.