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Nets and Suns hoop on Halloween

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Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

I don’t know what was worse: the weather or the third quarter.

After getting blown out on Friday night against the Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets came home to face the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night. They had a great first half, but collapsed in the third quarter and wound up losing by a not as close as the final score indicated 13 points. After this, we won’t be seeing the Nets in town for a while. They begin a five game Western swing in Los Angeles on Friday night.

The opponent this Halloween evening will be the Phoenix Suns. It’s been an incredibly chaotic year for this bunch as they’re trying to figure out their identity and which players to build around going forward. They lost to the Blazers in Portland on Saturday night. This is the first night of a back-to-back and second game of a five game road trip. They’re in Washington DC to face the Wizards tomorrow night.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7:30.


DeMarre Carroll and Quincy Acy both missed Sunday’s game due to injuries. Acy is out again while Carroll is questionable.

Brandon Knight tore his ACL late in the summer and will miss the entire season. Alan Williams had knee surgery on Monday and will be out indefinitely. Eric Bledsoe isn’t injured, but he’s persona non grata in Phoenix these days. More on that in a second.

Before the game

Trick or Treat begins pre-game. Children under 13 who attend the game are encouraged to join the fun and dress in their best costumes for a chance to win an upgrade to courtside seats at Barclays Center (adults are asked to not wear masks inside the venue).

Children will receive a trick-or-treat bag upon arrival and a map of trick-or-treat locations throughout the arena.

The game

On October 22, the team fired head coach Earl Watson after an 0-3 start that saw them take two losses by 48 (the home opener) and 42 points respectively. The next day, Eric Bledsoe hit the timeline and tweeted that he didn’t wanna be here anymore. When asked where “here” was, Bledsoe came up with an all time excuse and said that he was referring to a hair salon. Naturally, the team told him to kick rocks and are seeking a trade partner so they can get him out of town. A lot of the dysfunction in Phoenix can be traced to Robert Sarver’s ownership, as Greg Esposito notes over at Bright Side of the Sun:

That’s what makes all of this so hard for each and every one of us. We love the franchise more than we could ever dislike one individual overseeing it. The last seven years have been like watching your childhood friend make one bad life decision after another, heading down a path you just don’t agree with most of the time. You sit there wondering if it’s worth sitting there and watching it happen while feeling helpless. That is, until you remember the good times, what they’ve meant to you and how they’ve been there during your bad times too.

How Phoenix manages to pull themselves out of this mess will be something to watch closely going forward. There’s some good young talent, but will it be enough to overcome a toxic ownership situation?

The Nets will need to play a cleaner, more enthused game if they want to win. They’ve lost the turnover battle each of the last two games and worse, they sometimes look as if they’ve never played a game with each other before. They’ve had a better than expected October, but it’ll be important for them to nip some bad habits in the bud as we enter November.

If I had to pick a “Player of the Month” in October for the Nets, I might go with Spencer Dinwiddie. He’s been coming off the bench for Kenny Atkinson and has been an incredibly stabilizing force for that unit. I'd like to see him play more with D'Angelo Russell this month. Having two point guards on the court at the same time is something the team was looking to do this year, and with Dinwiddie playing incredibly well right now, why not?

Player to watch: Devin Booker

For a person who just turned 21 years old yesterday, Booker has had a hell of a start to his career. He’s the most important player in Phoenix, is in the record books next to some of the greatest players in league history, and is only getting better as he gains more experience. With Bledsoe gone, Booker will take on more playmaking responsibility for the Suns, and so far, he's increased his assist rate from last year. Booker is a player that can do a lot on the court, and the more chances he gets to run the offense, the better he'll be when it's time for Phoenix to contend.

Caris Levert will get a lot of time guarding Booker. With Carroll less than 100 percent, he's in line to play major minutes.

From the Vault

We’re taking two trips to the Vault today. Yesterday marked 15 years since Jam Master Jay’s passing, so let’s remember Jay and RUN DMC as we revisit one of their best tracks.

Recently, Connie Hawkins passed away at the age of 75. he Hawk was one of the more influential players in basketball players as his style had a direct impact on the likes of Julius Erving and Michael Jordan. Get to know the Brooklyn legend here

More reading: Bright Side of the Sun