Court Report: Suns Embark on Four-Game Trip
After dropping consecutive contests at home, the Suns will embark on a four-game road trip that tips off in Milwaukee on Tuesday. On the trip, Phoenix will stop in Boston, Brooklyn and Chicago. Check out some notes about the club as it prepares for the trip.
Focus for the Trip
Suns head coach Alvin Gentry believes his team is competing and working hard. Now he wants them to work smarter.
After being outscored on the break by 18 points and accruing only 15 points off of 20 Memphis turnovers, Gentry is trying to get his players to capitalize on their opponents’ mistakes.
“We’ve got to find a way to generate some easy baskets,” Gentry said. “Take last night. We only had one fast-break point. That puts way too much pressure on your half-court offense.”
Gentry stressed that after having 10 steals and forcing the Grizzlies into 20 turnovers, his club should’ve at least scored 25 points off of that defensive work.
“We have to convert on turnovers and we have to get out in transition and get some easy baskets,” he said.
Starters Settled for Now
Although the Suns are 1-3 with P.J. Tucker in the starting lineup, Coach Gentry appreciates what the Suns swingman brings to the first unit. Not only does his defense and hustle raise the intensity on the floor, but the move allows shooting guard Shannon Brown to provide a consistent offensive spark off the bench.
During the road trip, Gentry plans on keeping Tucker in that starting role.
“P.J. gives us a presence out there that we really need from a defensive standpoint,” he said. “I also think that he comes up with some loose balls and makes plays that help you win games.”
Heard on Press Row
In one of the stranger interactions seen courtside this season, Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph began to carry on a conversation with a Suns fan in Sunday’s contest. Interaction happens with fans all the time at games, but usually it’s not between a player and fan that are separated by 100 feet.
The fan, who was seated about 15 rows up from center court, was distinctly yelling that Randolph was fouling Suns power forward Luis Scola. During a break in action, Randolph turned and yelled while smiling towards the fan, “He won’t stop holding me.”
The fan (who appreciated the response) attempted to continue the chatter with Randolph, who at this point, had lined up on the block for a free throw. Randolph seemed to regret this interruption in their conversation, shrugging his shoulders at the fan’s questions before play began to resume.
After practice, Coach Gentry addressed how the team could snap out of its recent two-game skid.
“I think it’s easy to have good chemistry when things are going great,” Gentry said. “You really find out about your team, guys, coaches and everybody when adversity hits.
“That’s a true test of character. We’ve been truly tested and now we have to see how we’re going to dig our way out of it.”
Let’s see how they do so in Milwaukee on Tuesday.
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