A new beginning is under way for the Phoenix Suns after their season opener Wednesday night. The Suns hosted the Portland Trail Blazers at US Airways Center and gave the fans something to be excited about — at least, those fans who were in attendance.
For a home opener, US Airways definitely had a lack of people in seats. Some fans speculated as to why.
“(The Suns) had a horrible season last season,” Lou, a self-proclaimed “die-hard” Suns fan, said, “(They) need to regain the fans’ trust.”
The Suns are coming off a 25-57 season and lost a lot of loyal fans finishing last in the Western Conference.
Fran Cambria, a Phoenix resident, agrees that this is a part of the attendance problem but says the almost completely new roster also accounts for it. When looking at the Sun’s roster, she said she barely recognized any of the players’ names.
“I’m just not sure the hype is here yet,” Cambria said.
It is true that the Suns have a very new look for their team. The Suns enter the 2013-14 NBA season with 10 new players and a new coach. The franchise is using the phrase “ignite the future” to brand the team. Excluding currently inactive player Emeka Okafor, the Suns are the sixth-youngest team in the league and the least experienced. This gives fans a reason to be wary.
However, Wednesday night, the Suns came out with a run-and-gun offense that left fans impressed. Coach Jeff Hornacek played nine different players, and all but one was able to score. The young squad also showed off their upbeat style of play with 31 fast break points.
Perhaps the most impressive player was starting center Miles Plumlee. Plumlee, who played limited minutes for the Indiana Pacers last season, was dominant. In his first career start, Plumlee came away with a double-double, scoring 18 points and pulling in 15 rebounds, five of which were on the offensive end.
It wasn’t all perfect for the Suns though. The young squad went through a few streaks of very sloppy play and turned the ball over 15 times. After all was said and done, the Suns still came away with a 104-91 victory over the Trailblazers.
Fans definitely have things to look forward to this season.
“Hornacek wants to bring the excitement back. It’s going to be an exciting season!” Lou said.
While leaving the stadium, fans were talking about how exciting the team is to watch, with one fan even calling for the playoffs. While it is still early to say anything about the postseason, the Suns proved that their season may not be as unbearable as previously thought. This young team proved to have some talent, and fans are likely in for an interesting season as the new Suns squad “ignites the future!”