The Suns start the second half of the season 2-4.

The Phoenix Suns have started the second half of the season with an underwhelming record of 2-4. They now sit as the seventh seed with 20 games left in the regular season. All of a sudden, it feels like déjà vu for the Suns, as their lack of a point guard presence has really been a problem.

Things had really been looking up for the Suns, as they were the fifth seed looking to make a run to be fourth. Despite two losses to start the second half of the season, the Suns went on a two-game winning streak versus the Lakers and the Rockets. Since then, Phoenix dropped two straight, losing to the Rockets and the Thunder.

Saturday night was poised to be a big night in Suns history, with the jersey retirement of the Suns legend Amar’e Stoudemire. The former All-Star big man was set to be forever in Suns history with his number 32 jersey being retired. Unfortunately, the Suns did not get the memo, trailing the whole game and eventually losing to Houston, 118-109. The game featured an incredible atmosphere, as there were many Suns legends present in the building, and video tributes to congratulate Amar’e were played on the jumbotron. Bradley Beal made his return to the lineup, but it was cut short after an altercation with Rockets guard Jalen Green resulted in an ejection. The Suns still struggled, and though they fought back every once in a while, they still came up short. Jusuf Nurkic exited the game in the second quarter with a neck injury, and Devin Booker left the game late in the fourth quarter with a right ankle sprain.

The Suns would be faced with a challenging back-to-back, as the Oklahoma City Thunder came into town, looking to capture first place in the Western Conference. Jusuf Nurkic, Bradley Beal, and Eric Gordon all were active after being on the injury report; Devin Booker and Josh Okogie were inactive. Phoenix started the game off strong with a 13-point lead early on, but OKC finished the first leading 28-24. The Thunder jumped onto a 24-point lead in the second half; the Suns reacted with a comeback, eventually leading by six. OKC ended Phoenix’s party, taking the lead carrying it on, winning the game 118-110. Bradley Beal responded to the disappointing ending to his night beforehand, with 31 points. Jusuf Nurkic grabbed a career-high and franchise-record 31 rebounds. This unfortunately did not lead to a Suns win because they were overcome with turnovers and bad decision-making. The Suns’ run stopped when Drew Eubanks checked in for Jusuf Nurkic, and Kevin Durant in for Beal. KD has been going through an obvious slump; he hasn’t looked like himself since the All-Star break, but with due time everything should be back to normal for him. Drew Eubanks has also been affecting the team’s play in a negative way; it seems like all season long he has the skill set, but not the physicality.

With 20 games left to play in the regular season, the Suns will face some of the league’s best, and they will need to figure it out now. Bradley Beal said in last night’s postgame interview that the Suns “have to do it” and not keep asking about the future rather getting the job done. Everyone will soon see how the Suns can respond now in seventh place in the Western Conference.


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