The early stages of the 2015 NBA season has seen so many stories already. One of those is the weird state of the Western Conference to date. Specifically the bottom half of the playoff picture.
The top holds few surprises in terms of teams. Nobody saw 24-0 in Golden State’s future, but them and the Spurs and even the Thunder holding the top spots are of little surprise. It’s the lack of depth in a Conference that was anticipating 10 or even 11 to 12 teams competing for the eight playoff spots.
However, New Orleans got hurt early and KO’d. Utah is struggling so far and was losing by 40 to the Spurs tonight. Then there’s the Phoenix Suns, who have an oddly formatted roster to begin with and have lost Tyson Chandler to injury for several games and Markieff Morris has child please’d himself out of the rotation.
After returning in Phoenix’s Sunday night game against Minnesota, the Dallas Mavericks championship center played limited minutes off the bench and Morris was the only Suns player not to leave the bench.
The Mavericks got Deron Williams (illness) back and Chandler Parsons actually played pretty good tonight! Even though his season starts in January, CP came alive in the third quarter. He had his first basket towards the end of the period and stayed hot from there. He ended up with 17, his second highest total of the season but first highest against the not-76ers. He also went 5-5 from the Free Throw line. He entered the game shooting a skeletal 38.1 percent from the charity stripe, decimal points worse than DeAndre Jordan.
The third quarter once again played a key role in a Mavericks game. Saturday it killed them, tonight they built open a 22-point lead. Dallas won the third 31-15, affording them a cushion they needed when the Suns got it down to six at 96-90 in an ugly final few minutes.
A game has four quarters, playing all of them effectively is an ideal approach to victory. Only time will tell if all teams adapt this groundbreaking strategy.
Final Score: Mavericks (14-11) 104, Suns (11-15) 94
Mavericks: Deron Williams, 18 (six players had at least 12)
Suns: Eric Bledsoe, 23
Mavericks: Zaza Pachulia, 12 (9th in NBA)
Suns: Jon Leuer, 13
Suns: Eric Bledsoe, 7
Mavericks: Deron Williams, +15
Suns: Jon Leuer & Archie Goodwin, +12
Next Game: Wednesday @ Indiana Pacers (14-9), 6:00 PM CST on FSSW
Next Home Game: Friday vs. Memphis Grizzlies (13-12), 7:30 PM CST on FSSW