It wasn't so much a practice as a light shoot around followed by a little four on four half court action.
This all took place leading right up to -- literally ending about 10 minutes before -- the bus left for the airport to take the Suns on their first roadie of the season.
The four on four was particularly interesting because of one special participant. Dan Majerle.
Thunder Dan can still bring it and by that I mean: talk trash; grab and hold; push and shove; and hit three's. Dan's a pretty nice guy as I am sure you are all aware, but put that man on a basketball court and keep score and the monster is unleashed. It was quite fun to watch, there's not many like him.
Dan was teamed with Zabian Dowdell, Earl Clark, and Dwayne Jones against Matt Janning, Goran Dragic, Gani Lawal and Garret Siler. They played each game to seven and ended up playing about 7 games I would guess.
Team Goran won the series according to Paul Coro's score keeping.
The boys were quite obviously dragging ass after a long hard week of training camp and so the early games were kind of bleh but Majerle was able to get things amped up and once the juiced started flowing...good stuff.
As for training camp and working hard, I talked to Dragic and Warrick about that.
No surprise, both said the workouts were much harder this year, but Hakim gave us the best description as to why that is:
Phoenix Suns Will Pick Up The Pace And Try To Run Teams Off The Court - SB Nation Arizona
"I think we can take some teams' legs away in the fourth quarter especially with the depth we have to keep throwing fresh guys out there and playing a full court game both offensively and defensively. You keep throwing guys out there and I think you can take a toll on some teams."
Click that link to read the rest and see what Goran had to say about Matt Janning (that's what they call a teaser in the business).
The way I am reading all this talk about running hard and what not isn't so much a return to the 7SOL Suns but more of a constant pressure, full attack type mindset that will try and outwork teams on both ends of the floor.
When you have this kind of depth, the way to take advantage is to have more guys working at a higher rate than the other team.
Along the way, it also helps solves the rotation / minutes problem. If everyone buys into playing at full speed for fewer minutes they will accept being on the court less. No player anywhere who gets 35 plus minutes is going at full speed the entire game. Guys that play 20 minutes can do that though. I think/hope that's what we have going on here.
Out work teams (more so than out run teams) and keep everyone happy by keeping the intensity level high. We'll see how that plays out as the season gets going but if it works, it should be fun.
People LOVE watching intense basketball and that includes me. I'm a person too you know, despite what Scott Howard says.
Tomorrow's game against the Kings isn't on TV but it will be on the radio here in Phoenix. Our Kings site, Sactown Royalty, will also have their guy on-site and so I've requested they give us a little extra on the Suns when they cover the game.
Earl Report (because Earl needs his own section)
Earl Clark does look better but I still don't get the sense that he's playing with a ton of confidence or instinct but he's playing with more of both than he was this summer in Vegas.
Can't wait to see him Saturday in Indian Wells. Anyone else going to that game?