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Suns 102 Hawks 100

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Box Score

Positives

  • Al Horford (7-9) and Acie Law IV (7-8) getting to the free throw line.
  • Flip Murray's 23 points on 14 field goal and 4 free throw attempts.
  • Solomon Jones and Othello Hunter combining for 13 points, 5 rebounds (3 offensive), and 2 blocks in 35 minutes.

Negatives

  • Starting at small forward, Josh Smith took 6 jump shots (out of 9 nine field goal attempts), made just 2 of those and had only 3 rebounds.
  • If we allow ourselves to get optimistic regarding Flip Murray (career FG%: 41, career 3PT%: 27.9) making some shots in pre-season we must also acknowledge that Maurice Evans is shooting 37.2% from the floor and 31.2% from beyond the arc in pre-season.
  • To the best of my knowledge, neither Randolph Morris nor Thomas Gardner is injured yet neither played again last night.

Push

  • Mario West left the game with a sprained left ankle.

Despite offering the following caveat...

When the Suns show up for a preseason game and Shaq, Amare Stoudemire and Leandro Barbosa are all held out of the action it’s hard to get terribly excited about the game itself.

But it’s easy to focus on the little things, the details of a game that in the grand scheme of things means little more than a free public scrimmage between two teams bent on keeping everyone healthy (sorry Steve Nash, I know that sprained ankle suffered before halftime must have hurt).

Suns coach Terry Porter said it best when talking about the hands-free defensive approach of the first half when he said, “I wasn’t happy with the lack of defense being played in the first half, and I’m sure Mike Woodson would say the same thing. It was as if we signed a peace treaty in the first half to let each other score, but in the second half both teams settled down.”

And that’s why I tried to train my eyes on the little things last night.

...Sekou Smith provides some valuable observations regarding the Hawks big men and shares my confusion as to why Randolph Morris is here if he's not worth playing in meaningless games.

Al Horford:

"We didn't defend like we could have. We gave up a lot of layups, stuff like that. It's things we need to clean it up before the regular season starts. ... Guys were coming in and shooting the ball quickly rather than running offense."

Three more exhibitions (Saturday @Charlotte, Monday vs. Orlando, @Detroit one week from today) then the real games start. I'm ready (nearing anxious) for the season to begin.