Suns News

Newsroom Notes: Suns Can't Stop Bulls

Suns center Marcin Gortat scored 14 points and 15 rebounds in Wednesday's loss in Chicago.
(NBAE Photos)
By Stefan Swiat, Suns.com
Posted: Jan. 17, 2012

When the Suns came into Tuesday’s matchup against the Bulls, the club was concerned about its offense against the No. 1 defense in the NBA.

But that wasn’t the issue in the Suns’ 118-97 defeat in Chicago. It was the Bulls’ offense.

Despite reigning MVP Derrick Rose sitting out with a sprained toe and other associated maladies, the Bulls poured in 67 points in the first half on 67-percent shooting. The offensive display marked a season-high for the Bulls in points and field goal percentage in a half.

The Bulls offense was led by forward Carlos Boozer, who poured in a season-high 26 points in the first half, before finishing with 31 on the night.

However, coming into game and the road trip, Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry was looking to help jumpstart his team’s offense. Facing a Bulls team allowing the fewest points in the NBA, the Suns offense faced its toughest challenge of the season.

Phoenix responded Tuesday, tallying its highest first-quarter output of the season with 31 points. For the night, Steve Nash totaled 25 points and nine assists, while Marcin Gortat collected 14 points and 15 rebounds.

“We have to get our offense to the point where it’s back to where we normally think our offense is,” Gentry said. “We used to get probably 10 easy baskets a game, which is why we were able to shoot a high percentage. And because those haven’t come, we’ve struggled a little bit offensively.”

However, in the second quarter, the Suns’ offense only mustered 16 points on 6-of-17 shooting. The club never fully recovered after that.

It’s not that Gentry is attempting to construct an offense modeled after the days of “7 Seconds or Less,” but he believes that a quicker pace is vital to success for this team, even in the half-court.

“I think we have to get back to the consistent running,” he said. “A running that comes up with easy baskets and that’s not necessarily layups, but open jump shots and secondary-break points in transition.”

The Suns will take another crack at it tomorrow in New York against the Knicks.

Brown Returns Home

This isn’t your everyday road trip for Shannon Brown. The Suns shooting guard, who won Mr. Basketball in Illinois as a high school star, grew up on the west side of Chicago.

Traditionally, the Maywood native returns to the Windy City for his summers. But this year, Brown spent the offseason with his wife in Atlanta.

So while back in Chicago, he’s taking advantage of his time.

“I really like to visit with my family because I don’t really get to see them much,” Brown said. “It’s always fun when I’m around my family. The family is the main thing… and also getting something to eat.”

The 6-3 guard offered his reviews, recommending Giordano’s for Chicago’s signature deep-dish pizza. However, Brown said he favored the spots in his neighborhood that weren’t as known to tourists, such as Al’s, Popeye’s, Brothers Submarine, Shark’s, Uncle Remus’ and Harold’s.

Perhaps a career at Zagat’s lies in Brown’s future after basketball.

High Praise

Before the game Tuesday, Bulls Head Coach Tom Thibodeau was displaying his admiration for “Captain Canada.” The Bulls coach called Nash “an offense unto himself.”

With all of the pick-and-rolls he’s involved in, Thibodeau said Nash creates a bevy of easy shots for his teammates and that there’s no perfect way to defend him.

“When everyone is healthy, the Suns are a dangerous team,” he said.

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