Suns News

Suns Notebook: Nash Looses Tooth in Win

Steve Nash continues to make personal sacrifices for the good of the team.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)
By Jerry Brown
eastvalleytribune.com,
Dec. 13, 2007

Now we know what Steve Nash wants for Christmas — his two front teeth, intact.

Nash gained 16 points and eight rebounds in the first half against the Jazz, but lost part of his front tooth after taking an elbow from Utah’s Carlos Boozer while battling for a rebound in the final seconds of the half.

Trainer Aaron Nelson said the tooth had been broken previously and was capped, so it should be easy to repair.

At the halftime buzzer, Nash took the broken piece out of his mouth and handed it to Nelson before doing an interview with ESPN — even making fun of the new configuration with a fake lisp.

WORKING THROUGH BUMPS

Losing two straight games rarely fails to raise antennas among fans and media, but coach Mike D’Antoni said he didn’t sense a problem within the team beyond the normal gruff disappointment at losing back-to-back games to Minnesota and Miami.

“Obviously everybody is a little chippy and we don’t like to lose. We’re not used to losing,” D’Antoni said. “We have high goals this year, so there’s a little bit more chippy stuff than normal. We have to deal with it. I don’t think it’s a problem. It’s a problem when we lose … gosh dang it, let’s not lose.


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“I don’t see selfishness or somebody disgusted with somebody else on the court. It was a total lack of focus and energy, and those are gameto-game problems.”

But while his team began today ranked second in the Western Conference, he realizes that recent play combined with a gauntlet of tough road games on the horizon (New Orleans, San Antonio and Dallas) raises concerns.

“When we go to Texas next week … if we right the ship, this was all an overreaction. If we don’t, it wasn’t,” he said. “It is funny though — where are all the people who said ‘It’s OK if you lose some games early? Don’t work them too hard, don’t turn the screws too hard early.’ Where did those people go?”

BEST-LAID PLANS

Before the game, D’Antoni said he wanted to get Brian Skinner into the game earlier than normal to reward him for his strong play. But Shawn Marion got off to a strong start and the starters stayed on the floor until midway through the first quarter, when D’Antoni went with his usual substitutions of Boris Diaw and Leandro Barbosa.

Skinner got the call, as usual, about a minute into the second quarter and produced four points, three rebounds and a steal in nine minutes.

BONUS SHOT

The Jazz played without forward Mehmet Okur, who suffered a bruised left shoulder on a foul by Portland’s Joel Pryzbilla Tuesday. Paul Millsap started in his place.

COPYRIGHT 2007, EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE. Used with permission.