Suns News

Newsroom Notes: J-Chill Back in the Rotation

Childress has played his way back into Coach Gentry's rotation.
(NBAE/Getty Images)
By Stefan Swiat, Suns.com
Posted: Jan. 30, 2012

With Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry still searching for a steady rotation, seldom-used Josh Childress is attempting to make himself noticed.

Having made only five appearances all season before last Friday’s matchup against Portland, Gentry appreciated the energy and athleticism that Childress demonstrated when he was called upon against the Blazers. After a solid showing against the Grizzlies on Saturday, Childress was the first man off the bench in Monday’s 122-99 loss to the visiting Mavs.

The Suns swingman responded, totaling nine points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting during an eight-minute stretch in the first half. J-Chill also made a nifty assist to Suns center Marcin Gortat, as well as a steal.

“I think he’s playing well,” Gentry said. “I think the guy is a true professional.

“He sat over there and he came in every day and he worked and I talked to him several times and he said, ‘I have to be ready if I get a chance to play.’ We gave him an opportunity to play and I think he’s responded and done a great job.”

Tying his season high in minutes, Childress also added four rebounds to his line. Gentry has praised Childress’ athleticism, ability to deflect balls, get into passing lanes and make plays on 50-50 balls.

Childress, who averaged as many as 13 points and 6.2 rebounds a game during the course of his NBA career, never experienced being out of the rotation before arriving in Phoenix.

“Coach wants me to come in, play solid defense and give Grant (Hill) some rest,” Childress said. “So that’s my main focus and I have to make sure I’m in there and doing well.”

Nash On the Mend

Despite giving it a go at shootaround, Nash wasn’t able to suit up in Monday’s game against Dallas.

After bruising his left thigh on the last play of Saturday’s victory over Memphis, Nash underwent treatment the past two days in order to appear against the Mavs. But it wasn’t enough, citing an inability to push off as his reason for not playing.

“Usually, if he had a couple of days off he’d be able to recover,” Gentry said of his playmaker. “If he would be able to go, he would go. If anyone can do it, he can do it.”

Besides sharp pain and overall stiffness, Nash said that he’s looking for a return on his flexibility before he suits back up.

On the Defense

Coming into their matchup against the Mavs, who came into the night second in the league in defensive rebounding, fourth in points allowed and sixth in defensive field goal percentage, the Suns expected the defending champs to play lockdown defense. But instead, Dallas unleashed a potent offensive attack by coming out of the gate on fire, drilling 57 percent of its shots and amassing 66 points in the first half.

Although the Suns hit 49 percent of their shots from the floor and nailed 57 percent of their shots from three-point land in the first half, the Mavs answered by draining 10-of-16 from behind the arc. It was only the third time all season that Dallas has made more than 10 three-pointers in a game.

Phelps Named Physician of the Year

On Monday, the National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association honored Suns team physician Dr. Craig Phelps as the Physician of the Year. Dr. Phelps has been a part of the Suns' medical staff for 26 years and treats illnesses and other non-orthopedic issues.

“There’s not another doctor in the United States that has a better bedside manner than he does,” Gentry said. “Not only does he put you at ease, but he’s also really good at what he does. We would vote him Physician of the Year every year if we could.”

We’re Going Streaking

Suns center Marcin Gortat continues to add on to his NBA-leading streak of games in double figures in rebounding with 12. The “Polish Machine” is also only one of four other players in the NBA to be averaging more than 15 points, 10 rebounds and 1.5 blocks a game.

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