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Kendrick Perkins sounds off on Suns ‘crying’ about Timberwolves’ physicality

© Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns have made it to the NBA playoffs and while they are on one of the biggest stages in all of sports, there will be more eyes watching them, and therefore, more criticism that will come their way.

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After Phoenix fell 120-95 to the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 1, ESPN NBA analyst Kendrick Perkins chimed in, particularly on the Suns complaining about the physicality.

“We’re talking about one of the most physical teams in the league, in the Minnesota Timberwolves,” Perkins said. “The best defense team in the league and all we keep seeing is the Phoenix Suns crying. I mean, if they’re going to do this much crying, what are the babies gonna do?”

Despite his claim, there were a few times when a player didn’t like a call but there was no constant bickering from either Phoenix or Minnesota toward the officials.

Demonstrating their willingness to play physically, The Timberwolves led in the foul category 24-19 and heavily outrebounded the Suns 52-28.

Speaking after the loss, Suns star Kevin Durant preached for the physical style of play, stating that the referees didn’t take complete control of Game 1.

“Sometimes we fouled a little too much at bad times trying to be physical, but we’ll figure it out,” Durant said. “The refs are letting us play and it is the type of game we want.”

Comprehending on what Minnesota did so well, Bradley Beal talked about how the ‘Wolves’ game plan of establishing defense and physicality led them to a successful result.

“Everybody is trying to win, everyone is trying to make a play,” Beal said. “We have to be better at just understanding their matchups. They [Minnesota] did a really good job switching between zone [defense] and going to man and we were kinda confused at times, so we have to be better… They were just the aggressors, that was probably the biggest difference of the game.”

At the end of the regular season, Minnesota was in the top 10 in multiple defensive metrics. The Timberwolves were No. 1 in defensive rating (108.4), No. 5 in defensive rebounding (34.2), tied for No. 4 in blocks (6.1) and sixth in steals (7.9)

If Phoenix wants to get back in the series and win it, they will have to translate what they learned from Game 1 with Minnesota’s game style and find a way to match their tempo. If not, this can be a long series for the Suns.

Phoenix will look to get back on track as they clash against the Timberwolves once again on Tuesday for Game 2 at 4:30 p.m. PT.

Frank Vogel remains confident of Eric Gordon despite Game 1 woes

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Reporter Alec Cipollini covers Phoenix Sports News for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on his X account, @AlecCipollini

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