The Sun Went Down With Bill’s Silence

The Phoenix Suns made a massive trade in June last year. In order to recruit Bradley Beal, the ace guard of the Washington Wizards, Chris Paul was given six second-round draft picks (2024, 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028, 2030) and four first-round picks (2024, 2026, 2028, 2030).

Phoenix’s bold move to focus on “win now” while giving up its team’s future attracted a lot of attention. Phoenix set up another All-Star guard Bradley Beal next to the scoring machines that represent the league, including Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. They created a strong trio of players who could scare off the opponent team’s defense even if their positions and roles overlap.

The issue at hand was their ransom. During the 2023-2024 season, Kevin Durant earned 47.64 million dollars (second place), while Bradley Beal earned 46.74 million dollars (sixth) and Devin Booker earned 36.01 million dollars (24th), which were among the highest paid players in the league. As a result, the team had to make up for the rest of the team with only a few remaining salaries. Still, the trio had high reputations and high expectations.

But the sun did not eventually rise.

Phoenix lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-122 in Game 4 of the first round of the Western Conference Playoff at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, on Sunday (Korea time). Phoenix lost all of its four games and was eliminated from the playoffs early.

Game 4, which ended with a six-point deficit, was surprisingly the fiercest game in the series. Phoenix had been even more lethargic before. The average score difference between the first and third games was a whopping 18 points.

Devin Booker scored 49 points, his most in a single playoff game. Kevin Durant had 33 points, nine rebounds, and four blocks. The two players faced top-notch big men such as Rudy Gobert and Carl-Anthony Towns on defense court throughout the game. They played their part in the offense despite tremendous physical exhaustion.

However, the rest was a problem. The success rate of field pitches by the two players was as high as 65.8 percent. Given that the Minnesota Twins’ defense is concentrated on the two players, this is an incredible level of efficiency. However, the other players including Bradley Beal only had a field pitch success rate of 33.3 percent.

In particular, Bradley Beal’s poor performance was painful. He only played 31 minutes due to foul trouble. The shot was inaccurate. He only scored 9 points, making 4 of 13 field attempts. The bigger problem was a lack of concentration. There were several scenes where he was easily penetrated in defense and there were many errors with 6 errors. There were too many mistakes, especially in the match.

Bradley Beal made a critical pass mistake at the end of the fourth quarter when Phoenix was struggling to chase. He made a rather futile foul while pressuring Anthony Edwards in the ensuing defense. The sixth foul, which required him to leave the court, was already caught in a team foul. Phoenix’s season virtually ended in this scene.

You can’t blame anyone for a disappointing season. Bradley Beal, however, couldn’t regain the power of the last three games, when he had 28 points. It will probably be remembered as Beal’s worst playoff game. He hadn’t seen his head up off the bench in a while after being sent off for a six-fault penalty.

Bradley Beal was born in 1993. Although he is still enjoying his prime, his performance this season with a strong one-two punch was clearly below expectations. Beal has three more seasons to go (the 2026-2027 season is optional), and his salary will exceed $50 million from next season.

Phoenix ranked sixth in the Western Conference this season and was eliminated early in the playoffs. The synergy of the “big three” that had not been found throughout the season and harmony with role players led to painful results.

Phoenix has its own center, Yusuf Knuckic. He is an authentic big man with a strong fighter temperament. He is slow and weak in shooting outside. Phoenix manager Frank Vogel failed to find harmony between the three. The absence of shooter Grayson Allen, the best partner for the trio, was also painful for Phoenix.

He only played 20 minutes. For the rest of the time, Phoenix had a small lineup in which Kevin Durant was in charge of the center. Nevertheless, five of them were outmaneuvering Minnesota, the tallest team in the league, despite its outstanding defensive concentration. Minnesota defeated Phoenix 44-30 in their rebound fight, capturing 17 offensive rebounds.

And the most dazzling player on the court was Minnesota. Anthony Edwards had 40 points, nine rebounds, and six assists. He hit a tremendous dunk that dampened Phoenix’s momentum in the fourth quarter, and despite two ankle injuries, he stayed on the court until the end and worked harder than anyone else to defend himself.

Carl-Anthony Towns scored 28 points and 10 rebounds, and Jaden McDaniels, who displayed strong pressure against Devin Booker throughout the series, scored 18 points each. Minnesota surpassed Phoenix’s trio with its overwhelming internal and external defense.

It is the first time in 20 years that Minnesota has won a playoff series since 2004 when Kevin Garnett was playing. Minnesota advanced to the Western Conference finals 20 years ago, beating Carmelo Anthony’s Denver Nuggets in the first round and Chris Webber’s Sacramento Kings in the second round. It did not beat Shaquille O’Neill and Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers in the final.

Minnesota will compete with the winner of the Denver Nuggets-LA Lakers series in the second round to advance to the Western Conference finals. Currently, Denver is leading the Lakers with a 3-1 record, and Game 5 will be held at Denver’s home turf on Thursday.

BY: 토토

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post Inspiring baccarat bets start at Macau level, manager says
Next post Tottenham’s Race For Fourth Place, Is It Really Over