After Suns practice today, Steve Nash answered questions about his dramatic increase in shot attempts. He's taking 20 per game over the last four games which is double his career average.
Responding to Paul Coro from the Arizona Republic Nash said, "If we had the rhythm and cohesion of four or five months I wouldn't have to shoot the ball as much but right now I feel like I have to be aggressive and shoot and make plays for my team mates."
Nash went on to say that when they were playing the half court game he was getting trapped on the pick and roll but now in the up tempo teams don't have time to get their defense set.
I asked Nash if that kind of aggressiveness would continue or if it was the match-ups in the recent games. He said that he's going to continue to be aggressive, "Which means be aggressive and make a play and if they don't take my shot away I'll try and shoot but if my team mates are open I always love to pass them the ball".
This warrants further attention as my recollection is a fair number of attempts that seemed forced late in the shot clock. However, during a key five minute scoreless stretch at the end of the 1st half against the Spurs, Nash shot the ball 5 times (out of 10 team attempts) and 4 of those were with less then 10 second off the shot clock.
As I said in the podcast, the team doesn't look any better when they stand around watching Nash create for himself then they did watching Shaq work alone in the post.
They are going to need to find a balance that keeps everyone involved and actively moving without the ball to overcome the size disadvantage the Suns face on most nights now that Amare is out for the season.
With the defense as it is, this team in this system simply can't afford to have the offense stall for extended periods of time.
Other Practice Notes:
- Grant Hill talked about the need to work together on defense and not rely on any one player to pick up the load
- Matt Barnes talked about matching up with Dirk again and said that it would take help with someone coming from the back side when he puts the ball down and tries to spin
- Both Matt and Grant talked about the locker room being pretty quiet after the loss Sunday
- Nash refused to call Tuesday's game against the Mavs a "must win" but agreed that beating them twice would go a long a way and they could pay for it if the Suns don't get both wins
- Robin Lopez in a game of 3 v 3 involving Dudley, Lou, Dragic, Swift and Tucker had a wicked two-hand put back slam that drew some oohs and aahs
Matt Barnes audio:
Steve Nash audio:
Direct links to mp3 files:
Suns.com video from March 9 practice