Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Discussion of the league and of our favorite team.
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ShelC
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Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Post by ShelC » Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:54 am

Thought we should have a thread dedicated to what was one of the most, if not THE most, emotional, weirdest, hard fought seasons maybe ever?

Let's keep the predictions for the offseason- free agency, draft, next year's record - for the other threads. Let's also try and keep this one positive and not knock any of the guys for what they did or didn't do or how they fit with the team or their salary going forward and just bask in the season that should be, hopefully, a turning point for the franchise:

Hiring Monty as Head Coach
Draft Night: Drafting Cam Johnson and trading for Saric and Baynes
The Rubio Signing
The quick start to the season
The Suspension (a negative one but still part of the emotional story of the season)
The Baynes Breakout
Late Season Wins over the Jazz, Blazers and Bucks
The Break and Re-Start in Orlando and Going 8-0
Top Orlando Performers/Performances

If I forgot anything, feel free to bring it up!
Last edited by ShelC on Tue Aug 18, 2020 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ShelC
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Re: Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Post by ShelC » Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:55 am

I definitely didn't get choked up when Monty pointed at Devin and said "You've been thru a lot. You've been thru A LOT."


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Indy
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Re: Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Post by Indy » Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:01 am

ShelC wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:55 am
I definitely didn't get choked up when Monty pointed at Devin and said "You've been thru a lot. You've been thru A LOT."

Same. I thought he was talking to us, too.

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Split T
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Re: Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Post by Split T » Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:32 am

Safe to say the most fun we’ve had since Mori started up this new site? I was a little late to the party, but we missed the 13-14 season right?

We started 7-4 and finished 10-1. I’ll take 17-5...just gotta fix that 17-34 middle stretch, haha.

It’s fun to look at our team and have actual good basketball moments from them, and not just hope.

Booker..what can you say. He’s 23, he’s legitimately a top 15 guy in this league now. And somehow his 3 pt shot is the most inconsistent part of his game. If someone told us back in 2015 he’d be a 35% 3 pt shooter in 5 years, we’d all be bummed. His rise as an on ball penetrator, scorer, prober, passer has been unbelievable. Excited to see what his future holds.

Ayton..I’ll stay away from any negative thoughts. He’s a 21 year old 7’0 athletic big who just went 19/12 with 2 blocks and made a huge leap defensively. He’s got the talent to turn us into a legitimate contender.

Bridges...been a huge fan since before we drafted him. The shot is starting to come around, the nba world has taken notice of his defense. He’s a special role player and a perfect fit on the wing next to Book. Does scrimmage Mikal make more of a showing next season?

Cam Johnson - I was pretty bummed with his pick. He shot it well all year, I was still only just ok with him. He might have made the biggest jump in my eyes in the bubble. Putting him with the starters at the 4 was huge. He rebounded and looks like a real defender. I think we’ve got something there.

Saric...the other guy who made a big leap in the bubble. Coming off the bench and having a more featured role in the 2nd unit seems to be his ideal role. His shot looked better. I’d like to see him back and most of the year I didn’t think that.

Rubio..Just a steady presence. It’s just so nice to see a smart, competent basketball player running our offense. He let Booker play off the ball more and increased everyone’s offensive efficiency. And his shot isn’t a liability. His catch and shoot numbers are great from 3.

Carter... He’s had his frustrating moments, but all of that was as the backup pg. The suns finding his role as a backup 2 guard was key. He’s a good shooter and his defense and energy is refreshing to watch.

Payne- His bubble play is what we’ve been looking for. Our starters during the season had great net ratings, we always collapsed when the bench came in, Payne was incredible in his role and I hope he’s back.

Baynes... Didn’t get to see him play in the bubble, but he was a fun part of the team. His explosion as a stretch 5 at times was awesome. Not sure if he’ll be back, but had a great season.

Oubre.. last player I’ll mention. One of my favorites during the season. He plays an exciting brand of basketball, he showed up in a lot of clutch moments with big shots, big dunks, blocks, etc. His energy and big play mentality swung momentum for us often. He was our 3rd guy most of the season. I’m sad we didn’t get to see him during the bubble.

Monty - He’s the best I’ve felt about a coach in awhile. He seems like an incredible leader and mentor for the many young minds on our team. He and his staff have also seemed to put together a good system that can lead to success. I’m all on board.

Thanks for the ride Suns!!
Tyrese Haliburton • Devin Vassell • Killian Hayes • Aaron Nesmith • Patrick Williams • RJ Hampton

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O_Gardino
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Re: Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Post by O_Gardino » Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:34 am

The best thing about this team has been its consistent and steady growth.

In game, they would come out of time-outs or halftime with adjustments and ready to play at a new level.
Month to month, we could see them learning the system on both ends of the court.

Remember back in November when they would pass too much and end up with a bad shot at the end of the shot clock? They kept learning the system, Monty didn't simplify it, and they ended the season with the best and most sophisticated offence the Suns have had in a looooong time.

Growth.
The league needs heroes, villains... and clowns. -- Aztec Sunsfan

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Re: Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Post by bajanguy008 » Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:44 am

Good thread cause I had my mind made up to post some thoughts on Monty today

When he was hired I think we all had similar thoughts for the most part , that he's a helluva man and a decent coach. Some had couple concerns about his X's and O's but everyone was like man it would be cool if this works because he's one of the real good guys in the league.
We heard all the He cares about you as a person and that's y former players still keep in contact with him because of bonds formed and what's not which as we knew was all well and good but that we would need wins.

When I think about it, it's crazy how these circumstances of a pandemic along with the social issues probably worked in our favour. I'm sure the guys had already start buying in but to be in that bubble watching documentaries about black history and what not probably having more one on one time just talking with individual players that wouldn't have happened normally I think only accelerated the respect and bond factor. Yea ya know all the cliche stuff about willing to run through a wall for your coach but I think Monty constant message about family and so on has resonated even more with the team in these few weeks and has played a part in their commitment on the court

Monty postgame "It's probably been the highlight of my head coaching career"
Might seem like a crazy statement but im sure all he was hoping for was to get a bunch of youngsters to focus and work hard not letting it be a waste of time coming to the bubble and they probably exceeded his expectations. So the team unity is stronger and the X's and O's seem to be trending in the right direction also with how players were used

Book postgame "I think we just took tremendous strides in so many different ways other than just bball. Becoming closer as a unit and as a team"

So yes it's all the cliche stuff you hear sometimes but I think the bubble in a weird way allowed for all the abstract aspects of a team to come together and impact the play on the court

Feel like this was a long post , excuse me if I repeat myself lol
Go Suns
SUNS Fan from the Land of Sun, Sea and Sand ;)

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Mori Chu
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Re: Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Post by Mori Chu » Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:45 am

Great thread. I'm proud of our young team. It feels like we have most of our rotation figured out for next year for a team that should compete for a playoff spot. We still have some needs, such as backup PF/C depth, but in general I like our roster.

Almost everybody played above expectations in the bubble. The only guys who really didn't give us much were Kaminsky, Jerome, and Diallo, none of whom was expected to be a major rotation player anyway. A few players like Rubio and Ayton gave us "only fair" performance, but they still contributed. Almost everyone else, such as Booker, Bridges, Cam, Payne, Carter, and Saric, gave us an exceptional bubble run.

We still have some question marks, such as what to do with our free agents Saric and Baynes. I wish we could keep both, but it feels like Baynes may depart. What if anything to do about Oubre is also a tough question. We played so well without him, but over a full 82-game season, I think we would miss his energy and offense.

I don't expect us to make many moves this offseason, and I'm fine with that. Try to retain Saric, and use our cap space on another big such as a Jerami Grant. That plus our draft pick and maybe one more minimum-contract guard who can shoot, and I'll be content.

I just enjoy this team and can't wait to see what they can do next year. They showed that they deserved to be in the bubble and that they'll be a special team next year.

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Indy
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Re: Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Post by Indy » Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:56 am

I haven't been proud of this team in a long time. Nice to have that change over the course of just 8 games, and have the basketball world take notice.

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Superbone
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Re: Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Post by Superbone » Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:04 am

Indy wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:01 am
Same. I thought he was talking to us, too.
It's just as applicable to us.
Wormwood/Superbone 2019/2020 season bet: Suns win < 30 games, Wormwood wins, else 'Bone wins. 1 month avatar shame starting July 1st of winner's choosing. ACCOMPLISHED! 34 wins in a shortened season!

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Re: Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Post by virtual9mm » Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:29 am

I think we've got a good team going forward (let's assume that we stay with the current team). Starting lineup:

PG: Rubio -- solid playmaker and veteran presence
SG: Booker -- top 15 player, legit all-star, borderline superstar
SF: Bridges -- the epitome of the smart 3-and-D wing. Can he be more?
PF: Cam -- when he plays small ball 4 on a consistent basis, it does so much for the team's spacing
C: Ayton -- worst case, he's a 7'1" version of Marion. But I think he'll grow out of being stupid at some point. People forget how Olajuwon was considered a knucklehead for the first few years of his career.

Bench:

PG: Cam Payne -- I can't imagine that the backup PG job won't be his to lose
SG: Jevon Carter -- he's definitely an undersized 2 but a very good one
SF: Oubre -- if he accepts that role, wow -- he could be dynamite off the bench
PF/C: Saric/Baynes -- I love Baynes when healthy but Saric really looked good being the point center

Now, imagine the Suns being able to pick up a good FA on top of this...

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Re: Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Post by O_Gardino » Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:09 am

Jesus Christ you guys can't even make it through half a page.
The league needs heroes, villains... and clowns. -- Aztec Sunsfan

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Ring_Wanted
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Re: Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Post by Ring_Wanted » Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:24 am

Sometimes it happens when you are a die hard fan. I had the same with Amare once I realized he'd never develop a back to the basket game, defense or elite rebounding, despite his obvious gifts.

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Re: Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Post by phatmike » Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:39 am

Just going to say that watching this team in the bubble brought me more joy than they have in a long time. I'm really curious how the team responds if the world is more back to normal when the next season starts. I think with the Suns being so young, they might have benefited more than older teams from being stuck in a bubble without distractions. It sure feels good to be optimistic moving forward.

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Indy
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Re: Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Post by Indy » Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:49 am

O_Gardino wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:09 am
Jesus Christ you guys can't even make it through half a page.
APOLOGIES--thought I was in a different thread! I will delete it.

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ShelC
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Re: Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Post by ShelC » Fri Aug 14, 2020 3:22 pm

When he was hired I think we all had similar thoughts for the most part , that he's a helluva man and a decent coach. Some had couple concerns about his X's and O's but everyone was like man it would be cool if this works because he's one of the real good guys in the league.
We heard all the He cares about you as a person and that's y former players still keep in contact with him because of bonds formed and what's not which as we knew was all well and good but that we would need wins.
Totally agree and the best thing is there's substance. He's not a cheerleader BSer like Watson was or some others around the league. There's depth and a work ethic and seriousness that the team took on and made its own. No shortcuts, no excuses, just work hard and play for each other. Doesn't get much simpler than that. I was pleasantly surprised with his Xs and Os and thought he adjusted well throughout the season and in the bubble. Not a "system" guy where he's playing the same way regardless of the personnel or asking guys to do things they can't. Halftime adjustments were made, rotation adjustments were made, and I loved the lineups he was throwing out there in the bubble to take advantage of the hot hands. There's no doubt he's the guy for this team.

Draft night I was more than a little upset where we took Cam but in the back of my mind knew what Jones was going for. We needed shooting and maturity on the roster - not another raw, 18-19 yr old who was a year or two away (at best). Cam brought both and IMO is already a top shooter in the league. His maturity, college experience and knowing how to practice, how to play, how to prepare were those intangibles we've been missing in our draft picks of late. Jerome brought those intangibles as well even tho he didn't produce as much. But you need guys like that in the lockerroom, in practice, on the road, on the bench.

Getting Saric and Baynes on draft night helped solidify the frontcourt. Baynes saved our season early on and was huge on both sides of the ball. We knew about the defense and rebounding but the 3pt shooting was one of the best surprises of the season. Would love to see him back, but understand if he's not. Same thing goes for Saric, who looked really good as our 4/5 off the bench in Orlando.

I thought the Rubio signing was a hugely underrated signing in the offseason and we took a lot of heat for it but he was worth his weight in gold. A steady hand, veteran presence on and off the court, took the load off Book, made the game easier for everyone (including Monty I'm sure) and his offense wasn't really as bad as its reputation. While not as impactful, I liken the Rubio signing to the Nash signing when people said we gave them too much money and called out their weaknesses. Instead, both made a big difference on young teams and helped us take a step forward.

There was a thread with a poll asking to predict our win total. I remember saying we had a 40 win team on paper but voted 30-34 wins because of a 1st year head coach and rebuilt roster. Here we are and I think 40 definitely would've been do-able without the suspension. We started off strong and had a great look and feel in the preseason and the first game against the Clips. Then the news about the suspension came out and it felt like the season was over before it started. Just a gut punch. But it really tested the team and tested Monty. He didn't lose the team, the players didn't panic, didn't roll over or give up. We just moved on and went on to grind the rest of the season. Played our asses off to a 7-4 start and really held it down until some injuries started popping up. But you could tell the mentality of the team was starting to show and we fought and competed every game.

That carried over into the bubble where no one really gave us a shot. I was worried that guys may have been sitting around during the break and the fact that we needed to be perfect left no room for error. Instead, Mikal and Cam both came ready to play and look to have taken a step in their own development. Book took his game to another level playing in games that mattered and coming up big in winning time. Jevon looks like a knockdown shooter now to go along with his energy and defense. And Payne was the low risk/high reward player we needed to have work out for us. Everything just came together for us and we handled our business. Maybe we just caught lightning in a bottle but this looks somewhat sustainable given the foundation that was laid down in the regular season. It really, really sucks not being able to continue but it is what it is now.

We know we have Book, Cam, Mikal and Ayton as a core. That's a pretty good core at the moment. Better than any foursome we've had in probably a decade plus a coach who actually knows what he's doing. Looks and feels like really have something sustainable which we can build upon. Haven't said that in a while. Great sharing this wild season with everyone here!

(sorry for the novel)

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Nodack
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Re: Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Post by Nodack » Fri Aug 14, 2020 3:33 pm

I am proud of the entire team. I always wonder if the coach we hire will last one or two years. I think Monty will be here awhile. He has definitely earned it.

James Jones helped put it all together. He deserves a lot of credit.

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Superbone
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Re: Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Post by Superbone » Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:53 pm

Well, there's now no doubt we would be in the playoffs had Ayton not gotten suspended. So shame on him. But I am very excited about next season. And this isn't just a Cubs wait until next year kind of thing. This team will make the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Book it! (And that phrasing wasn't an accident.)
Wormwood/Superbone 2019/2020 season bet: Suns win < 30 games, Wormwood wins, else 'Bone wins. 1 month avatar shame starting July 1st of winner's choosing. ACCOMPLISHED! 34 wins in a shortened season!

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Re: Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Post by Aztec Sunsfan » Fri Aug 14, 2020 5:27 pm

Superbone wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:53 pm
Well, there's now no doubt we would be in the playoffs had Ayton not gotten suspended. So shame on him. But I am very excited about next season. And this isn't just a Cubs wait until next year kind of thing. This team will make the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Book it! (And that phrasing wasn't an accident.)
We have been thru a lot... WE HAVE BEEN THRU A LOT!!! :lol:

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The Bobster
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Re: Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Post by The Bobster » Fri Aug 14, 2020 5:47 pm

You've got to have patience with young planers. Some will never pan out, but I am optimistic that Ayton, Bridges and Johnson are just scratching the surface. Throw in Saric, Oubre, Booker, Carter and Payne and that's 8 young rotation players.

I'd like to see them add another athletic C/PF and another player who can create their own offense, but this is the most optimistic I've been about this team in years.
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Mori Chu
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Re: Your 2019-2020 Phoenix Suns

Post by Mori Chu » Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:04 pm

ShelC wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 3:22 pm
...

We know we have Book, Cam, Mikal and Ayton as a core. That's a pretty good core at the moment. Better than any foursome we've had in probably a decade plus a coach who actually knows what he's doing. Looks and feels like really have something sustainable which we can build upon. Haven't said that in a while. Great sharing this wild season with everyone here!
Great post. I agree with just about every word. My only real addition is that I think Rubio should be listed as part of our core. I know that on any given night he isn't likely to be our best player or have our best stats. But his playmaking and leadership really help hold us together and keep our team producing every game. I understand that he's older and probably won't be on the team in 5 years. But as of where we are right now, I think he's a very important player on our roster and definitely part of our core. In fact, if you add him to the "core" you listed, you get our bubble starting lineup, which aligns pretty nicely with the notion of a team's core.

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