Newsroom Notes: Redd Shines as Suns Starter
Posted: Feb. 4, 2012
Searching for an opportunity to play Suns swingman Michael Redd, Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry got his wish granted Saturday.
One of the top 4 streaks of its kind in the NBA, Suns swingman Jared Dudley’s 206 consecutive games-played streak was snapped when Dudley missed the game with a thigh contusion. In his place, Gentry started the sharpshooting Redd.
Dudley’s injury was a tough break for the Suns, who saw the former Boston College standout average 16.3 points and 4.8 rebounds in his last four games. However, Gentry’s call to action was received by Redd, who answered it with vigor.
Although the 6-6 former All-Star received his first start since January 10, 2010 and missed his first four shots out of the gate, Redd heated up quickly, nailing six of his next eight shots. On the night, Redd finished with a team-high and season-high 17 points on 4-of-7 shooting from downtown as the Suns captured a 95-89 home victory over the Bobcats.
“I was going back and forth (between starting Redd or Ronnie Price) and one of the things I thought about was that Grant (Hill) is so much better as a starter (because he doesn’t have to warm up again),” Gentry said. “So I thought, let’s give Michael a shot and play him early on after he’s gotten himself loose and warmed up. I thought he shot the ball well and played well.”
It was Redd’s first double-figure output since his first appearance with the Suns on January 12.
“This was one of the most proudest moments of my career,” Redd said of his comeback from injury to lead his team in scoring one night. “And to get the win was obviously the key. But to come back through the tears, the hurt, the hours of rehab and training to come back and accomplish this, may be the most proudest moment of my career actually.”
It also allowed the Suns to snap their four-game losing streak to the Bobcats and improve to 3-3 on the second half of a back-to-back set of games.
Redd led all Suns in scoring, but was aided by Robin Lopez (13 points), Marcin Gortat (12 points and 12 rebounds), Markieff Morris (11 points and eight boards) and Steve Nash (11 points and 10 assists), who all scored in double figures.
Fake Road Trip
Having just finished a season-long five-game road trip that concluded on January 23 in Dallas, the Suns are currently in the midst of what seems like another five-game road trip, but with one of those games just occurring at home. After playing in New Orleans and in Houston earlier this week, the Suns faced the Bobcats at home Saturday before heading to Atlanta on Monday and ending with Milwaukee on Tuesday.
Despite the one game at home, these five games are being played in five different cities over the span of seven different days. Gentry’s wife joked that he’ll be in those cities longer than he’ll be in Phoenix.
Gentry kidded that he might not be as missed as much as he thinks, “She doesn’t understand why we don’t play, back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to back.”
With coaches around the league casting their votes for All-Star reserves, Coach Gentry showed this reporter the Trail Blazers’ nifty idea for swaying coaches to vote for their players. Portland mailed Gentry custom-made LaMarcus Aldridge “Beats by Dre” headphones and “Gerald Wallace” jumper cables.
The thinking had to be that the jumper cables were for the practical-minded coaches, while the headphones were for the music-lovers of the group. The headphones, which retail around $300, screamed, “Don’t vote for Dirk Nowitzki!”
Suns center Marcin Gortat extended his streak of double-digit rebounding efforts to 15-straight games, the longest current streak in the NBA. It also tied Minnesota’s Kevin Love for the longest such rebounding streak in the NBA this season.
“The Polish Machine” also now has at least one block in his last 12 games, the longest streak of his career and the current longest in the NBA.
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