The Suns didn’t expect to be in a Game 7 with Dallas, but now that they’re here, they’re determined to win it, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Both teams have captured all three games at home, several of them by wide margins, so Phoenix has confidence about playing today’s deciding contest on its home court.
It will be the first-ever seventh game for Devin Booker, who said the excitement was already evident at Saturday’s practice.
“I like coming in here with everybody locked in, top to bottom from the front office looking through the windows — you can feel their demeanor,” Booker said. “That’s why we play the sport. We thought we had something going there [in terms of pressure] during the regular season, trying to break the franchise record [for victories], and this is a whole different beast.”
There’s more from Phoenix:
- Coach Monty Williams used the practice session as a “clean-up” to fix some of the team’s bad habits in the series, McMenamin adds. Williams emphasized protecting the basketball, as the Suns have averaged 18.7 turnovers per game in the series, and guarding the three-point line because the Mavericks are making 16.3 threes per game. Williams has also noticed the different atmosphere that Game 7 brings. “You can feel it,” he said. “From the time when we knew we were going to be in a Game 7 until now, the gym is thick with intensity. And that’s how playoff basketball should be.”
- In an interview with Marc J. Spears of Andscape, Williams talks about the difficulties he’s had to overcome and the importance of faith in his life. The Suns’ head coach admits he spent about two weeks being severely disappointed about losing in last year’s NBA Finals until he began to fully reflect on all that’s happened. “I had a lot of time to think and pray. I became way more aware of my hypocrisy,” he said. “Here I am again, this reputation for all this stuff, and here I am internally feeling like I deserve something. It took me about a week or two to get to that point where I was like, man, I should be way more grateful and thankful than I am right now.”
- Video games have been an important outlet for Suns center Deandre Ayton throughout his basketball career, per Maya A. Jones of ESPN. “I don’t think I could live without the game and that’s real talk,” Ayton said.