Practice Report: Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen for 'Morrow Ye have Clips

Goran Dragic responded positively when asked how he felt about his new nickname, "Frosty". (Photo by Max Simbron)

The Suns had a long practice today after which we spoke with Coach and Nash about last night's loss to the Thunder and the state of things in general.

But before we get to that, I have more more important news to share. Goran Dragic is down with the "Frosty" nickname!

"When I was young all my buddies called me 'Gogi'," said Goran when asked if he had any preexisting nicknames. 

I explained the "Frosty" moniker to him and the connection between being cool and kind of pale. At first he was kind of like "ok, whatever" but then he seemed to take to it.

Robin Lopez walked by at that moment and Goran said, "hey Robin, now you call me Frosty!" He got a laugh out of it. We'll see if lasts.

Goran also agreed to come on Bright Side of the Sun for a Live Chat so you can ask him yourself. We are going to wait until after the holiday's to find a good time but look for that coming maybe as soon as next week depending on scheduling. Should be fun stuff.

Audio: Dragic 122409

In other Christmas news, Leandro is still planning on playing tomorrow. His ankle is still "puffy" and sore especially in the mornings but he's excited to get back on the court. He also as of about 1pm on Christmas Eve, wasn't done with his Christmas shopping. He will be headed to a Target store this afternoon so keep your eyes pealed.

When he took some heat for not being done with his shopping yet, he said it was ok, "You know, I'm 'beep beep'. I can get it done."

Leandro also graciously recorded a holiday greeting for his fans back in Brasil which is now posted here at Suns Brasil.

Audio: Barbosa 122409

On to more serious business...

Coach Gentry had a few things to add about last night's loss and the current state of things on Planet Orng

  • Asked about the balance between speeding things up versus rebounding Gentry said the priority was still rebounding but they can still rebound and run, "We've done it before."
  • "We can't give up 16 offensive rebounds. It puts too much pressure on the offense."
  • He also talked about missing free throws. Suns missed 9 against the Thunder which he said was a pretty big hit
  • On the offensive rebounding woes, he said they have to box out before running the other way. He said on the biggest play of the game the offensive rebound hit the floor and they got it which can't happen. On that play JRich actually followed the ball in to the rim but Amare and Frye already had good position there so when it bounced over his head there was no one in the area to get it. Nash and Dudley were the closest to the ball
  • Gentry said we have to give credit to Durant for hitting a contested jump shot with a hand in his face. He had no second thoughts about how the Suns played it and he wasn't concerned with the two offensive possessions late where the Suns got nothing. He said the offensive was good enough to win. It was giving up the offensive rebounds that did them in.
  • Nash had a slightly different take on that, "I think we got to in some ways just simplify the game at the end. Space the floor and if they switch take the ball hard to the basket. I think sometimes we get locked into trying to throw it inside on the mismatches and we have a hard time getting it there and we have a hard time reading and reacting down there when they converge so I think we've just got to be aggressive and not be so thoughtful at the end of games to be honest."
  • That's some pretty powerful stuff from Nash. If you recall, the Suns called a time out and were down by 110-111 with about 1:47 to go. Out of time out, they draw up a play that has Frye throwing an entry pass to Amare in the post where he's matched up with a smaller Jeff Green. The Suns clear out and Amare holds the ball while Frye and Richardson flash into the paint to see if they can get an easy look. Amare holds the ball and faces up Green and tries to go over him and misses.
  • On the next trip down Green tips in a missed jump shot and the Thunder are up three. Nash comes down and attacks Sefalosha off the dribble and gets to the line and misses one free throw. Nash said he was pretty darn mad at himself for missing that. Then the Thunder come down, Durant misses, they get the rebound and Durant hits the dagger. Game over.
  • That offensive play out of the time out that went into Amare certainly fits the bill for what Nash was talking about but when I asked him about it specifically he said he couldn't remember the exact play
  • What Nash it talking about, in my opinion, is not putting Amare in a decision-making position in that kind of situation. He was great on the move but isolated like that in key situations (which also happened in Portland) doesn't seem to be working 
  • Nash also said the chip on the shoulder isn't the same as it was early in the year and they need to get that back
  • Neither Gentry or Nash are too worried for the long term. They think the Suns can get it back on track and have plenty of time to do so
  • Bonus Question: Anyone want to guess what Steve's reaction was to the news that he's passed T-Mac in all star voting and is in second place?

Audio: Gentry 122409

Audio: Nash 122409

Daily Links

  • Phoenix Suns Basketball Blog — Suns News, Rumors and Analysis
    “(Rebounding) is ninety percent who wants it and ten percent positioning,” added Channing Frye after the loss. “It’s something we’ve been talking about and it finally bit us in the butt.”
  • KTAR.com - Stoudemire, Nash on pace for All-Star Game
    Stoudemire is currently the top vote getter among Western Conference centers, while Nash passed Houston Rockets guard Tracy McGrady for second place among guards.
  • Suns' Robin Lopez learning from Jarron Collins
    Last season, Suns rookie center Robin Lopez nodded his head a lot when then-teammate Shaquille O'Neal was talking. Sometimes it was acknowledgement of a point well-made. Sometimes it was out of deference to a legend. These days, Lopez's mentor program has paired him with fellow former Stanford standout Jarron Collins, whom Lopez has known since before he attended college .
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