Sport Youngster hasn't lost AFL faith in Suns
AFL expansion debate for Northern Territory, Tasmania not strictly business
Opinions are divided on the merits of AFL expansion into the Northern Territory and Tasmania, but the choice for the league centres around the weight placed on social outcomes and finances, writes Alister Nicholson.The government-funded feasibility study into the viability of an AFL team from the Northern Territory, conveniently released the week of the marquee dream time clash in Sir Doug Nicholls Round, showed the club would likely run at a yearly loss of $15 million. This financial deficit, it stated, could be mitigated by the social benefits.
As homecomings go, last weekend's trip to Western Australia was one to forget for Gold Coast defender Wil Powell.
The happy-go-lucky 21-year-old was as deflated as anyone after the Suns' disappointing 27-point loss to an undermanned Fremantle in Perth last Saturday.
Suns coach Stuart Dew labelled the performance his team's worst of the year as their hopes of making a second-half of the season push for an unlikely maiden finals appearance took a huge blow.
"It was a disappointed, embarrassing trip on the way home, the way we played and dished up that performance," WA product Powell told AAP.
NBA Playoffs 2021: Chris Paul leads balanced offence as big second-half run helps Suns comfortably clinch Game 1
After averaging just 9.2 points in the first round of the 2021 postseason, Chris Paul finished with 21 points in Game 1, including in the fourth quarter alone, as the Suns comfortably clinched Game 1 by turning the game on its head with a monster 39-12 run in the second half.Led by their starters, who combined for 99 of their total points, the young team flipped the game on its head with a huge second-half run and eventually cruised to a 122-105 win to take a 1-0 series lead.
"We had a review of the game and went through on how we stop making the spikes so high and the low, really low.
"Our average winning margin's 40 and the average losing (margin's) 31.
Video: Collingwood gives Buckley fairytale finish (Wide World of Sports)
"We just talked about how we level that out to play every single game at an AFL consistency and level it out to a winning margin of 10 or a losing margin of 10 like a top-four side."
Since arriving at the Suns as a bolter in the first round of the 2017 draft, Powell has developed from an undersized midfielder who initially struggled with homesickness into a skilful and brave half-back.
Powell, in February, signed a four-year contract extension which will keep him at the Suns until 2025.
Now just three games away from his 50th AFL appearance, Powell's commitment to the club hasn't wavered despite having tasted victory just 13 times in those 47 games.
"We're so close to it ... you can feel it," he said.
"It's hard to explain but we're that close, it's just a few little tweaks and different things that we've got to do and once we do, it's going to click.
"There's definitely that belief still there and love this club, I'm sold on it long-term."
NBA: CP3 before comeback - what about Leonard? .
The Phoenix Suns travel with a 2-0 guidance in the West Finals in the back to L.A. And are probably back to Chris Paul in Game 3. The L.A. Clippers will continue to be able to do without KAWHI Leonard. © Provided by Spox Chris Paul will probably return to the parquet against the clippers in Game 3. How the Clippers officially reported on Thursday at night on Thursday, Leonard will also be injured in game 3 of Western Conference Finals injury.