The Phoenix Suns entered the 2018-19 season with some expectations but, before taking the floor on Thursday evening, the club boasted the NBA’s worst record at 4-20. Then, things got considerably worse for Igor Kokoskov’s team with an utterly dismal performance in the first quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers.
While the Suns weren’t exactly supposed to fair well against a playoff-caliber opponent without Devin Booker available, Phoenix cratered in the opening period, scoring only nine points in 12 minutes. The team converted only four of its 20 shots from the floor, turning the ball over five times along the way. Phoenix’s defense didn’t exactly help the situation in allowing 67 percent shooting and 34 points to the Blazers.
To make things even more dire, this was the second straight game in which the Suns failed to reach double figures in the first quarter, which is a mind-blowing feat in 2018. On Tuesday, Phoenix lost (at home) to the Sacramento Kings by “only” 17 points but, after one quarter of play, the Suns trailed 36-9 on the strength of 18 percent shooting and seven turnovers.
It has to be noted that the Suns simply aren’t deploying a quality NBA rotation, with Booker and T.J. Warren on the shelf as a result of injury and all kinds of performance issues up and down the roster. Still, it is something else entirely to see a team post back-to-back performances with fewer than 10 points in the first quarter and it goes without saying that Phoenix will be hard-pressed to improve on their league-worst record if that hideous play continues at the start of games.