Derrius Guice Reaction
Covering the impact of coronavirus on the sports world
For many teams, their final seeding game in Orlando is merely a formality, as their position in the postseason picture is already solidified. That was certainly not the case for the Phoenix Suns though, as the Suns needed a win over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday in order to keep their playoff dreams alive. With a loss to Dallas, the Suns would have been officially eliminated from contention.
With their backs against the wall, the Suns came out on a mission, while the Mavs looked largely like a team that didn’t have much to play for. The Mavs are already locked into the seventh seed in the West, and as such, they will face off against the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round. Led by All-Star guard Devin Booker, who had 27 points in the contest, the Suns jumped out to a double-digit lead over the Mavericks early on in the first quarter and they never relinquished it. They ultimately walked away with a 128-102 win and, in turn, they finished their seeding slate a perfect 8-0.
With the win, the Suns did all that they could to give themselves a shot at securing a spot in the play-in series set to be played between the eighth and ninth seeds. Now, they have to hope that the Brooklyn Nets defeat the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night. If the Nets win, the Suns are in, but if the Blazers are victorious, they’ll get in and the Suns will be forced to head home.
Heading into play in Orlando, the Phoenix Suns were looked at largely as an afterthought, or as a team that wouldn’t factor into the playoff picture in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. That is certainly no longer the case. With their win over the Mavericks, the Suns completed their seeding slate with a perfect 8-0 record. They are the only team — out of the 22 in Orlando — that won all their seeding games. In turn, the Suns elevated themselves from outside of the playoff picture to right in the thick of things when it comes to the final spot in the West. Even if they don’t ultimately qualify for postseason play though, the way the team played as a whole during their seeding slate provided plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the team’s future.
As he usually does, Devin Booker led the way for the Suns with 27 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. However, he had a fair share of help from his teammates, as he has throughout all of Phoenix’s games since the season restarted. Four of Phoenix’s five starters scored in double figures against the Mavs, and the one that didn’t – -Ricky Rubio — dished out a game-high 12 assists. The Suns also had two players come in off of the bench and break double-figures. Dario Saric finished with 16 points and six rebounds, and Cam Payne added 15 points and five rebounds. If the Suns ultimately qualify for the play-in series, it’s this type of well-balanced production that they will need if they hope to advance.
Since the season re-started, the Suns took care of business and did everything that they could to put themselves in a position to potentially make the postseason. Now, they’ll need a bit of luck. It’s pretty simple, if the Nets pull out a win over the Blazers on Thursday night, the Suns will qualify for the play-in. If the Blazers win though, they will effectively end the Suns’ season. It’s safe to say that the Suns will be watching, and cheering for the Nets tonight.
Devin Booker: “I’m a big Brooklyn Nets fan.” Adds he called Tyler Johnson to make sure he gives it his all.
The Dallas Mavericks announced the schedule for their first round playoff series with the Los Angeles Clippers.@FOXSportsSW will broadcast all opening-round games not shown on ABC. The games will also be carried live on @1033fmESPN and Univision 1270AM. pic.twitter.com/1PtfCHT3BK
A message from @DanMajerle to @nextlevel_03!Congrats to Jevon Carter on being the recipient of the 2020 Majerle Hustle Award. SO deserved. pic.twitter.com/2e6HEWxtGO
A message from@DanMajerle to @nextlevel_03!Congrats to Jevon Carter on being the recipient of the 2020 Majerle Hustle Award. SO deserved. pic.twitter.com/DdceN3NZBR
ELITE AT THE LINE! ?The Suns break the NBA record for the highest single-season free throw percentage in league history at 8⃣3⃣.4⃣% pic.twitter.com/mtRSnZzXPz
We contemplated choosing a @CarlsJr Star of the Game tonight and decided we’re giving it to the whole team.They’re all ⭐️’sTomorrow head into a Valley Carl’s Jr. & use code “Suns Star” to receive a $2 Famous Star with cheese.
WHO’S NEXT?! If it’s not the @memgrizz on Saturday, grateful we were able to post this as much as we did ? pic.twitter.com/URpk5YdWwi
Haha it’s only fair.For real @memgrizz if we don’t see you Saturday good season ? https://t.co/PCLROSDhVn
While all the chatter is happening on this platform I just want to say one thing…We literally couldn’t have played any better in the bubble and I hope you are as excited for the future as we are.
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