The Suns practiced for about 90 minutes today and for the most part, according to Coach Gentry, looked good. For the portion we were allowed to watch, there was an emphasis on getting stops and some work on the zone defense. With the Grizzlies only shooting 31% from three and getting great production from Gasol and Zach, the zone makes sense.
Robin Lopez shaved his beard which may or may not be related to his increased playing time. Coach Gentry said he would continue to play and be a regular part of the rotation, "We like to keep him in the rotation forever." When he's in the game the Suns don't have to double team the post.
Gentry likes pairing Robin and Amare and likes having Channing in with the 2nd unit to space the floor and let Lou or Robin (if he's in) to be a screen and roll guy.
- Coach Hollins has allowed Memphis to be who they are. Get in the open court and run. Coach Hollins has done as well as any coach in the league this year
- They are playing great right now. Made Zach Randolph a winner
- Gasol does a great job for them. Underrated player but wouldn't say he's ever going to be as good as Pau
- No. It doesn't change how Gentry feels about the Pau for Kwame Brown trade. That's still not a good trade according to Alvin
Lionel Hollins has established himself as the leader of that team and that no one is bigger than the team and that's part of the reason they are doing well right now (they are 9 and 4 in December)
- Gentry ended practice with a message to his team to stay focused and not to underestimate the Grizzlies but when asked if lack of focus was an issue in some of the Suns's losses in December he said it wasn't. "You can be very focused and not play at a high level and some nights you're just not going to make shots."
- Wins over the Lakers and Celtics show that if Suns are playing the right way they can beat anyone. That means limit turnovers, rebounding, etc.
- JRich still struggling with his hand but he's doing other things on the court
- Likes having fresh guys in the game all the time so there's five guys out there playing with high intensity
- Robin is going to continue to see minutes. Other than games against really small teams like the Warriors but most teams will have someone he can match-up with.
- Gentry is pleased with Frye's effort on the boards in recent games after the coaching staff got on him a bit about that
- Goran and LB are getting comfortable together. The two together are a very fast back-court
- Gentry said Dragic is a really smart basketball player and is comfortable on the floor and has the trust of his teammates
- Gentry said he didn't see any after effects at practice of "auld lang syne". The team was off yesterday and had a late practice start today (1:00pm instead of the normal 10:00am)
- The Grizzlies got to town on the 31st and have been enjoying the Phoenix weather waiting for tomorrow's game
- Memphis is playing really well right now. Can't underestimate them
- During December, lost focus and stopped running and got out of sort by teams switching so much but if they do that going to take advantage of it
- Glad month of December is over. Tough schedule and looking forward
- Hand is little factor but no excuses. Playing through it and keep shooting
- Some nights J-Rich has tough defensive assignments and not worried about scoring. As a young guy the focus was more on points and stats but now it is more about winning
- Hand is not fully back but there's nothing to do. It is effecting the shot a little bit. "I'm a tough guy, I'll figure it out somehow."