Sport Chris Paul And the Suns Have Their Foot On the Gas

12:10  25 november  2021
12:10  25 november  2021 Source:   si.com

Why did the Suns draft Luka Doncic instead of Deandre Ayton?

  Why did the Suns draft Luka Doncic instead of Deandre Ayton? Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic and Trae Young will forever be linked due to the events that unfolded on Draft night in 2018. Now in year four of their NBA careers, they trio find themselves in different situations, with the Phoenix big man the only one of the trio yet to cash in on a lucrative contract extension.A standout in Europe for years as a kid playing against men, Doncic seemed to be a surefire future NBA star.

  Chris Paul And the Suns Have Their Foot On the Gas © Provided by Sports Illustrated

How Phoenix is pushing the pace during its 13-game winning streak.

View the original article to see embedded media.

For the majority of his Hall of Fame career, methodical halfcourt offense has been catnip for Chris Paul. Strolling up the court, processing and precisely organizing the floor before him, Paul can think two or three moves ahead of everyone else.

The game tends to unfold at a snail's pace for Paul, whose teams would rather let him conduct with every instrument neatly arranged than in a frenzy. Phoenix, winners of 13 in a row, still pummels opponents with ubiquitous pick-and-rolls that oscillate into tight dribble handoffs involving some of the most dangerous shooters alive. But, so far, there’s one big difference: The Suns ranked 24th in pace last season (averaging 98 possessions per 48 minutes); right now they are fourth (at 101.6).

Despite Tua Tagovailoa's big game, Jets player isn't impressed with him

  Despite Tua Tagovailoa's big game, Jets player isn't impressed with him Jets defensive end John Franklin-Myers characterized Tagovailoa’s performance in Miami’s 24-17 win as throwing up “prayers” that sometimes went answered. John Franklin-Myers said Tua beat the #Jets by throwing up “prayers” and “sometimes prayers are answered.” — Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) November 21, 2021 This doesn’t really check out. Tagovailoa went an efficient 27-of-33 for 273 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. That’s a lot of answered prayers.Tagovailoa has received plenty of criticism during his career, and some of it has come from opponents.

Some of that is thanks to a dip in the length of their defensive possessions (opponents are running at them more in transition), but only the Spurs, Warriors and Hornets are averaging fewer seconds per offensive possession than the Suns’ 14.3. Last season Phoenix ranked 18th in this category.

A few factors, including some adjustments made to the Suns’ system after last year’s loss in the Finals, make it clear this team wants to move quicker than it did—even if this enormous leap in pace wasn’t an explicit goal.

“We really simplified our attack,” Suns associate head coach Kevin Young told me on Tuesday. “We're not throwing it to the big in trail nearly as much, by a longshot, as we did last year. We're flowing a lot more into our pick-and-roll action. And that right there, in my opinion, has been the biggest thing we've done schematically … to be honest with you, an unintended consequence has really been the uptick in the pace.”

Fact check: Gas prices when Trump left office were much higher than he now claims

  Fact check: Gas prices when Trump left office were much higher than he now claims Former President Donald Trump has been attacking President Joe Biden over this year's increase in gas prices -- and greatly exaggerating the size of that increase. © Joe Raedle/Getty Images A customer pumps gas into his vehicle at a Shell station on November 22, 2021 in Miami, Florida. In a Fox News interview that aired on Sunday, Trump said, "Look, when I left, gasoline was $1.87. That was a year ago. And now, it's I guess just hit $7.50 in California, the rest to follow..." In another Fox News interview that aired on Tuesday, Trump claimed the increase was even bigger: "Gas was at -- gasoline, $1.

Familiarity throughout the roster also makes it easier to run, read and react a bit quicker than before. “Last year, it took us a little bit of time to figure each other out, in terms of Chris coming in and him and Book figuring out how to play off of each other,” Young said. “Certainly the familiarity of the guys with each other, and then within the system, kind of made for a perfect storm to get off to a decent start.”

The chemistry is easy to recognize whenever they push the ball. Watch Deandre Ayton hardly break stride coming off Devin Booker’s backscreen and forcing a switch that then lets Booker cut to the block for a jumper.

It’s not that Paul’s teams have never sought transition opportunities. But at 36 years old and coming off the deepest playoff run of his career, they’ve never gotten up and down quite like they’re doing right now. Paul’s own pace is currently 101.4, which is higher than ever before. He still walks the ball up the floor quite a bit, but he’s also throwing it ahead to leverage the young legs at his disposal, letting his teammates attack against a defense that isn’t yet set.

Biden sets out oil, gas leasing reform, stops short of ban

  Biden sets out oil, gas leasing reform, stops short of ban WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Friday recommended an overhaul of the nation's oil and gas leasing program to limit areas available areas for energy development and raise costs for oil and gas companies to drill on public land and water. The long-awaited report by the Interior Department stops short of recommending an end to oil and gas leasing on public lands, as many environmental groups have urged. But officials said the report would lead to a more responsible leasing process that provides a better return to U.S. taxpayers. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - A flare burns natural gas at an oil well Aug. 26, 2021, in Watford City, N.D.

The Suns’ coaching staff began encouraging these kickahead passes in the playoffs, as a way to free Paul up from the full-court pressure he increasingly felt in each round. “I think it's had some carryover into this year,” Young said. “I think that's been able to free him up. He doesn't do it a ton, but he's able to get off the ball a little bit more. And if we don't score off that initial action he's able to be a beneficiary on the second side of things.”

The Suns dash up the court and create openings for each other. Watch how this full-on sprint by Mikal Bridges momentarily forces Jae’Sean Tate to yell back at Daniel Theis and make sure he’s covered, allowing Booker to spot up for a quality look.

And then here’s Booker returning the favor: As he veers into the paint it creates a split second of confusion between Reggie Bullock (who was back but not matched up with anyone) and Tim Hardaway Jr. Miscommunicate for a moment in the open floor and this is what happens.

The aggressiveness is noticeable with Paul in the game, but turns into a five-alarm fire when he’s on the bench. Last season the Suns’ pace was 98.9 with Paul and 100.1 without. Right now, when Paul sits, their pace is a team-high 105.9. (Cam Payne, who’s averaging more shots per 100 possessions than every Sun except Booker, has a green light that will burn your retina.)

Suns proving last season's NBA Finals run was no fluke with 16-game win streak

  Suns proving last season's NBA Finals run was no fluke with 16-game win streak By surviving a late surge from the Nets, on the second night of a back-to-back, the Suns extended their win streak to 16 - the second-longest in franchise history. That said, despite all they have achieved, there's still room for skepticism but the Suns have a chance to shut that talk down with their next matchup - against the league-leading Golden State Warriors.While the players, led by their backcourt duo of Chris Paul and Devin Booker, along with head coach Monty Williams were lauded for their achievement, there were plenty playing it down saying they caught 'lightning in a bottle' or the fact that the Suns, in each round of the Western Conference playoffs, faced teams that were majorly handicapped with injuries

Wrapped inside Phoenix’s rising velocity is a fascinating dynamic related to Booker, who for basically his entire career before last season played on teams that were fine participating in a track meet. When Paul came aboard, it was Booker who adjusted to unhurried conditions. The on/off splits with Booker and Paul do a good job illustrating this shift.

Last year the Suns were actually a tiny bit slower when Booker played without Paul than with: Their pace dipped all the way down to 99.3. Right now Phoenix’s pace when Booker is on the court without Paul is a whopping 105.6. It’s still early and Phoenix has plenty of time to revert back to the tempo they had so much success with a year ago. Defending them in the halfcourt is still a bear, but knowing you can be steamrolled in transition, too, is a mental tax opponents weren’t regularly paying last year.

Whether they keep this up for 82 games is a question worth asking given who their point guard is and their head coach’s history: During his five-season stretch with the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans, Monty Williams’s teams were the slowest in the league. Young, who’s in charge of Phoenix’s offense, says he’d be surprised if they were still in the top five by All-Star weekend. “I mean, you don't go from one extreme to another,” he says. “What I do think is given some of the schematic things that we're doing a little bit differently, just being in the top 15 for pace would be a big jump compared to where we were last year.”

9 months after the Texas freeze, the power grid remains vulnerable

  9 months after the Texas freeze, the power grid remains vulnerable This story was reported and written as a partnership between The Texas Tribune and NBC News. © Provided by NBC News MIDLOTHIAN, Texas — After last winter’s freeze hamstrung the flow of electricity to millions of customers from one big Texas utility, the company’s CEO, Curt Morgan, said he’d never seen anything like it in his 40 years in the energy industry. During the peak days of the storm, Morgan’s company, Vistra Corp.

So far it suits them well, without harming much of what made them so difficult to beat last season. The Suns rank third in defensive rating and coax a bunch of long twos. They still gut their opponents from the mid-range and do a pretty good job taking care of the ball.

Their foot doesn’t need to stay on the gas at all times, but expanding their offense by bringing it to the other team’s front door a beat or two quicker than they did last year adds a potent element to this team that previously wasn’t there. If the 2020-21 season was reconnaissance, this one is a swift onslaught; it’s one of several reasons those who dismiss last year’s Finals run as a fluke might want to reconsider their opinion.

More NBA Coverage:NBA Mock Draft: Banchero, Holmgren, and Smith LeadWhat's Next For the Kings?Early NBA Season Awards PicksNBA Power Rankings: Where Each Team Stands After First Month

Warriors vs. Suns is going to be close, but take this team to cover, plus other best bets for Tuesday .
The Suns are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games as a home favorite ???? The Picks???? NBALakers vs. Kings, 10 p.m. | TV: NBA.TVLatest Odds: Over 227 Bet Now The Pick: Over 227 (-110) -- This is an incredibly large number, but these two high-scoring offenses should have no problem eclipsing it. Despite their inconsistencies, the Lakers have the fifth-highest scoring offense as they average 111.3 points-per-game. On the other hand, the lowly Kings also score the ball at will with an average of 110.2 points-per-game, good for ninth in the NBA.

usr: 1
This is interesting!