Telfair Looking to Shine in Return to Minnesota
Posted: April 8, 2012
Having spent two seasons with the organization between 2007-2009, the 26-year-old playmaker returned to the team for a second stint during the 2010-11 campaign before joining the Suns before the start of this season.
On Monday night, the guard will face off against those Timberwolves for the first time in Minnesota as a member of the Suns, and says it feels good to be back in the city he called home not too long ago.
“The fans were lovely here and I had a great time being here in this city,” Telfair told Suns.com just after touching down in Minneapolis. “I’m thankful I had the opportunity to spend so much time here and am very thankful for the relationships I had a chance to build during that time.”
When Telfair made the decision to sign with Phoenix back in December, he was well aware that he would be serving the role of backup to Steve Nash, but appeared to embrace the opportunity. As he revealed during Training Camp at Grand Canyon University, Telfair’s mother lists Nash as her favorite NBA player, and having now had the opportunity to play behind the two-time MVP, the younger of the two playmakers said he has not let the time go to waste.
“I’ve learned a lot about how to keep your composure and how to win games,” Telfair said. “But more than anything, I’ve learned from watching how he prepares himself the same way night in and night out. By watching how strictly he follows his routine and following suit, I've definitely noticed how much it's helped my game.”
Now on the tail end of his one-year deal with the Suns, Telfair has not only had the opportunity to watch Nash up-close and personal, but has even had the opportunity to shine himself at times. During his last encounter with the Timberwolves back on March 12, the guard scored 10 points in just sixteen minutes of play against his former team. More recently against the Lakers on Saturday night, Telfair scored 13 points and handed out seven assists during a 125-105 victory over the division nemesis.
Perhaps his biggest game as a Sun, however, came at Los Angeles against another of his former teams – the Clippers – back on March 15. With the team resting Nash during a back-to-back-to-back, Telfair received his first start of the season and took full advantage. In 34 minutes, the guard scored seven points and handed out eight assists while guiding the Suns to a big 91-87 win on the road. The victory helped the Suns to an eventual sweep of the back-to-back-to-back stretch, and played a major role in the team’s return to the playoff hunt.
The performance against the Clippers was a perfect example of Telfair putting the lessons he has learned this season into action. But while he appears to have gained a great deal of experience by playing on the court with the Suns, the Brooklyn native out of Abraham Lincoln High School is always quick to point out how much he has also learned off of the court with this organization as well.
“I’ve really enjoyed being a part of both this team and this city,” Telfair said. “One of the things that has stood out the most to me is the training staff. I’ve been around a lot of different training staffs, but this one here offers a different kind of treatment and has showed me knew ways to keep my body healthy. I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve felt this healthy this late in the season.”
If the team can build off of Saturday night's win during this current four-game road trip, the Suns hope that Telfair can maintain that health even later into the year than he is accustomed to - by participating in the first postseason game of his NBA career.