Once again, Gentry wasn't pleased with today's practice. Same as yesterday. Two not good practices in a row. This time, I asked what constitutes a "not good" practice. Is it effort or focus? The answer was kind of a vague repeat of what Alvin's said before about never having to coach effort and that the team has played hard 99% of the time since he's been here. He said execution a few times. Basically, he wasn't happy but wouldn't elaborate why.
Josh Childress sat out practice today with what he described as a sore hip flexor and to rest his broken finger but he expects to play tomorrow. He tweaked the hip in practice yesterday trying to make a move. He says he's still hesitant playing with the finger.
"It's definitely something I think about because it's on my right hand. It's one of those injuries where you don't really realize how much you use your hand, particularly your index finger, until it's hurting," Chilly said. Even tying his shoes is annoying right now but he's tough and is trying not to think about it. No word yet if rookie Matt Janning or Gani Lawal have been assigned the task of tying Josh's game shoes.
The big hubbub today, of course, was the Jared Dudley extension. Here's what Coach Gentry had to say about valuing a guy like Jared who doesn't alway put up big numbers.
"I don't think you can look at stats and judge anybody. I don't think you can look at a stat sheet and say this guy's averaging 20 a game and so he's worth this much money. I think you've got to look at the overall body of work that a guy does for your team and for us, he does a lot of good things. He makes big shots and if you look at the playoffs last year he's kind of the guy on that second unit that from a chemistry stand point keeps everybody together and keeps them going well."
That's old school right there, people. Take your WARP and SRS and put them where the tweets don't shine.
Gentry joked that he tried to borrow money from Jared but he's holding on to it tight which is somehow indicative of how Jared isn't going to change.
"He's not going to change, guys. If you look at where he's gotten because of hard work and things that he's done. He left San Diego and went all the way to Boston College and had great years there when he wasn't a highly recruited guy and he ended being the ACC Player of the Year.
"They he gets drafted in the league and he comes out and works hard every day at practice and we gave him an opportunity to play a year and a half ago and he stepped up for us and took advantage of it and I think as a player that's all you can ask for is to be given an opportunity and then I think it's up to the player to take advantage of it and that's what he did."
Here's the interesting thing about that last part about "taking advantage of an opportunity" -- it's almost as if Gentry was talking about Dudley but thinking about Earl Clark.
Check out this great write up about the Earl Clark situation by our intern, Shaun:
Phoenix Suns Decline Earl Clark's 2011-2012 Option - SB Nation Arizona
In reality, it is only human nature to be affected by such opposing expectations. Clark is only twenty-two years old, and not yet fully acclimated to the inherent adversity that comes in such a competitive business.
And here's more about Jared not changing with a lot from Babby avoiding my questions about why this contract means in context of the others the Suns have on their books in light of the coming CBA changes:
Phoenix Suns Make Leap Of Faith With Decision To Extend Jared Dudley - SB Nation Arizona
"It's just the beginning. This deal's a long time, but I can still get better. I just turned 25. I know, kind of get a sense of how to play in this league -- offensively, defensively, knowing the refs, knowing players' tendencies -- and you're going to see the growth of me these next three or four years," Dudley said.
Spurs Game Chat
Gentry talked about them being the same old Spurs with Tim, Manu and Tony but he thinks their bench is better this season. I've heard that too, but guys like rookies James Anderson and Gary Neal are unknowns to me and I am looking forward to seeing Tiago Splitter in action for the first time (in person).
Intern Shaun brought up an interesting question today about the match ups. It will be very neat to see how the Suns front court chooses to defend the Spurs starters, Duncan and Blair. You would expect Robin to be on Tim which leaves Hedo to try and keep Blair off the glass. Good luck with that. Of course, on the other end we've seen that Blair isn't exactly a speedy perimeter defender and will likely struggle with Hedo on the wing. Mismatches abound.
Gentry, however much you might want to hear otherwise, doesn't think the Spurs are out for revenge. We'll see what they say about that tomorrow. I bet Duncan hasn't slept a wink since the Suns swept them from the playoffs. He might just come out and tear someone's head off in the first 30 second.
[Note by Seth Pollack, 11/02/10 8:55 PM MST ]
Forgot to pass along this link. Looks like one week in, the "defend and explain Amare" spin has already started in New York. Just like old times.
- Posting and Toasting
"I think he's trying to do a little too much," D'Antoni said. "We talked about it. Just slow it down a bit. Just take your time knowing that guys are going to converge on you and become a little bit more of a playmaker. I think he knows that."