The result of the season opener against the Sacramento Kings at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, the home stadium of the Phoenix Suns, on Oct. 24. Phoenix’s 29-point sweep. Phoenix fans, however, didn’t really mean much to win the opening game. The Phoenix, which won the opening game of the 2018-2019 season by 21 points, has lost seven consecutive games since then.
But this season was different. The Phoenix has had six wins and four losses in 10 games since winning the opening game. Last season’s top draft pick, Dandre Ayton, started off on a good start despite being suspended for 25 games for diuretic use. This was a rain-like start to quench some of the thirst of Phoenix fans, who have repeatedly failed to make the playoffs since the 2009-2010 season.
But did I open the champagne lid too early? Phoenix’s hot-burning flame died down in November alone, going through two straight defeats. Since then, he has crashed in 12 matches in December, recording three wins and nine losses, and is still in the midst of seven straight defeats. Before I knew it, he was down to 11th place in the Western Conference with 11 wins and 19 losses this season.
Of course, it’s too early to jump to the Phoenix standings, as it’s only half the season yet. But with Phoenix’s potential rivals Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz, Portland Trailblazers and San Antonio Spurs all maintaining a winning rate of more than 50 percent in December, the ride between them and Phoenix continues. So what caused the Phoenix slump?
First of all, the players’ overall sense of shooting got worse. The Phoenix had a 47.5 percent night-out rate and a three-run success rate of 38.8 percent in the first 11 games since its opening, finishing second and third overall in the league in question.
Since then, however, he has only recorded a 44.9 percent night fight rate and a 3-pointer success rate of 33.0 percent in 19 games. The field rate in the corresponding section fell to 19th place for the entire league, while the 3-pointer success rate dropped to 28th place for the league.
In particular, the drop in the 3-pointer success rate, which fell from third to 28th, was fatal to Phoenix. Compared to November, Devin Booker (41.9% – 31.4%), Kelly Uber (35.7% – 27.5%) Ricard Rubio (38.5% – 25.0%), Dario Š (36.9% – 29.8%) and Aaron Baynes (44.7% – 25.0%) all showed a significant decrease in the team’s success rate of 3 points in December.
The home game is also not doing well. Phoenix’s home game record this season is six wins and 12 losses, and only the Minnesota Timberwolves and new Orleans pelicans have a worse home victory than Phoenix at the Western Conference.
None of the 16 teams currently listed in the top eight of the Western Conference and Eastern Conference have a home victory rate below 50. With Phoenix, which has now played the most home games with Memphis Grizzlies at the Western Conference, the remaining home game victory has become all the more important.
Can Phoenix fly back to Arizona with hopes of reaching the playoffs?