Postgame Central: Suns at Raptors - Nov. 30, 2012
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Suns Lose in Toronto
By: Brad G. Faye, Suns.com
TORONTO- With the Suns looking to bounce back from the third-worst defeat in franchise history, and the Raptors looking to bounce back from a 21-point loss in their last outing, it was Toronto managing to pull away in the closing seconds for a 101-97 victory.
After a number of Suns said they took the 40-point defeat to the Pistons personally, it was fittingly the team’s longest-tenured player and co-captain, Jared Dudley, who aggressively came out firing as soon as the opportunity presented itself. The forward came off the Suns bench to connect on his first five shots from the field, and finished the contest with 14 points on five-of-six shooting.
Dudley was one of three Suns to finish the contest with 14 points, while five Phoenix players reached double digits overall. But despite the balanced scoring attack, the final result still left more to be desired for the Suns. "We’re just in a situation where we have to keep plugging away," said Alvin Gentry. "The effort is there, we just have to get better in our execution."
BROWN OFFERS ENCOURAGEMENT TO MARSHALL
On Thursday, the Phoenix Suns announced that they would be assigning rookie point guard Kendall Marshall to their NBA Development League team, the Bakersfield Jam. Following shootaround on Friday, Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry spoke about how this move will benefit both Marshall as well as the team.
“I think for Kendall, this is an opportunity to play 30-35 minutes a game, run a team and get some experience,” Gentry explained. “We don’t have a lot of practice time once the season starts, so I think it’s important to get him in a situation where he’s playing competitively. I think it’s great for him.”
Gentry also believes that because of how much the D-League has grown since its inception, Marshall won’t be seeing as large a drop off in terms of talent as one might expect.
“I think he’ll get to play against some pretty quality guys,” Gentry said. “If you look around our league, you’ll see how many guys have been brought up from the development league and you’ll see how much success they’ve had.”
In fact, the Suns don’t have to look far to see a prime example of this success. In 2008, Suns guard Shannon Brown was named to the All D-League Showcase First Team, and like Gentry, Brown also believes that this experience should prove beneficial for the young playmaker.
“He needs to understand that this isn’t an issue of the team not wanting him, but that it’s a chance for him to work on his skills and be ready to come back and rock and roll,” Brown told Suns.com. “It’s important to be able to get into a rhythm and (the d-league) offers players a chance to do that. When you’re not playing and only have practices to try getting a flow, it’s difficult.”
As far as what advice Brown gave to Marshall following the announcement, it appears that to the Suns sharpshooter, attitude is everything.
“I told him not to look at going there as a demotion as much as a chance to keep his skills fresh and to continue getting better as a basketball player. He hasn’t really had a chance to showcase his talents yet, so I just told him to stay positive and not let this situation affect him negatively.”
Brown is quick to admit, however, that his advice is far easier said than done.
“I remember when I was told that I was going, I personally kind of looked at it as a demotion,” Brown admits. “But once I got there, it was really an eye-opening experience. I mean, I knew I had the ability to play basketball, I’ve always had that confidence. But being there helped me find the time to play and it also helped me understand a lot more about the business side of the NBA.”