The Phoenix Suns of the NBA, who brought Kevin Durant to the point of giving up two promising players and several future rookie nominations, are lonely in the second round of the playoffs (PO) this season. I turned away.
Phoenix lost 100-125 in the home game of Game 6 of the 2022-2023 NBA Western Conference PO Round 2 (4 wins from 7) against the Denver Nuggets held at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona on the 12th (Korean time).
Phoenix, who balanced with 2 wins and 2 losses until the 4th game and then lost both games, was eliminated from the second round of PO for the second consecutive year.
Last season, Phoenix lost to the Dallas Mavericks led by Luka Doncic after a fierce battle in all seven games, and lost helplessly 90-123 in the last seven games.
It was a crushing defeat by more than 25 points in the last game for two consecutive seasons.
Last February, at the risk of bleeding, throwing a ‘number of wins’ to bring Durant, who is considered the best striker in the NBA, did not have much effect as a result.
At the time, Phoenix gave up forward combination Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson, considered the team’s top prospects, to the Brooklyn Nets to recruit Durant.
Veteran forward Jae Crowder was also included in the trade and left the team.
In fact, he made the decision to focus on the current situation instead of giving up on the future of the team to some extent, while also sending four first-round rookie nominations for 2023, 2025, 2027, and 2029.
Even during the regular season, it seemed that the power of the team had grown so much right away that it was understandable that they had sacrificed their future.
I couldn’t play many games due to big and small injuries, but as Durant won all 8 games, the status of Phoenix also emerged as a ‘contender for the championship’.
Even after entering the PO, he cruised by defeating the Los Angeles (LA) Clippers 4-1 in the first round, but his weaknesses were properly revealed in front of Denver, the Western No. .
The ‘weakening of bench competitiveness’ following Durant’s joining became a problem.
Of the total 646 points Phoenix posted up to the 6th game, the combined score of the candidates was only 129 points, or 19%.
In particular, in Game 2 (87-97 loss), out of a total of 87 points, only 4 came from the bench.
The burden on aces Devin Booker and Durant also increased.
The two were responsible for 56% of the team’s points until Game 6.
Phoenix won games 3 and 4, and the two players combined for 86 and 72 points, respectively. All players who failed to score 72 points or more lost.
Injuries also overlapped.
Chris Paul, who has led the team as a field commander, has been unable to play since the third game due to a sudden groin injury.
It was Paul who was at the forefront of dropping Denver in the second round of the PO two seasons ago.
Paul took advantage of Jokic’s slow feet, forced him to defend through the screen, and blasted Denver with long-range shots every game.
During his four-game winning streak against Denver at the time, Paul averaged 25.5 points and 10.3 assists, and his field goal success rate (62.7%) exceeded 60%.
메이저놀이터 However, in the second round of this season, Paul, who was less skilled than this time, only averaged 9.5 points and 5.5 assists in the two games he played.
Deandre Ayton, who had been a full-time defender for Jokic, the opposing ace, also felt pain in his ribs and could not play in the last 6 games.
Jokichi attacked the bottom of the goal of Phoenix without Aton and flew with 32 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
“I don’t feel good,” said Durant, who took the microphone at the press conference with a dejected look after the game. “I was really embarrassed (throughout the game),” he said. must do,” he said.