Igor Kokoskov and the Phoenix Suns have done it! They have snapped a franchise record 17-game losing streak with a win Monday against the Miami Heat. This is their first game since January 12th against Denver, a game where star player Devin Booker didn’t even play. A lot has transpired in this month and a half, players discussing (retweeting) their unhappiness with their role, trades that happened, and trades that didn’t. The pressure was building for the Suns, pressure that was going to swiftly result in the firing of head coach Igor Kokoskov.
The Phoenix Suns took on the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday in what appeared to be another slow start for the Suns (72-49 at halftime). The marquee matchup was surely seeing Rookie center Deandre Ayton go up against the entertaining Joel Embiid. Unfortunately, Ayton (18pts/11reb) had no answer for Joel Embiid (42pts/18reb) who was a force to be reckoned with.
The Phoenix Suns have done something that hasn’t been done since 2015: a 4-game winning streak. In just one week the Suns doubled their win totals. This begs the question, “What on earth has changed for the Phoenix Suns?!”
As the Phoenix Suns (1-5) struggle to find consistent point guard play, Élie Okobo has seen increased minutes in their recent games. Sunday, Okobo played 31 minutes and graced the team with 18 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds. All with 50% shooting from the field to boot. This has been a significant improvement from his counterpart, Isaiah Canaan, who has struggled in the starting role with a +/- as high as -25 (versus Golden State). So the question becomes, do the Suns start the Rookie out of France against the San Antonio Spurs on a spooky Halloween Wednesday?
The result of this game should come as no surprise to Suns fans. The defending champs took care of their “little brother” Monday night in Oracle Arena by 20 points. In a game that was marked for Golden State to regain their confidence after previously losing to the Denver Nuggets, the Warriors sped off from the moment the ball was tipped and never looked back.
Robert Sarver and the Phoenix Suns have fired GM Ryan McDonough this morning, nine days before the regular season starts and just two years before his contract ends. The move hasn’t perplexed fans, the timing has. After what many would call a successful offseason; drafting #1 pick Deandre Ayton, signing key veteran Trevor Ariza, and even trading a disgruntled player in Marquese Chriss. But the question remains, why now?