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Phoenix Suns Practice Report: Shiny Happy New Faces

Sorry for the delay in getting this posted. Busy day. So with that excuse made, I'm just going to dump a lot of stuff on you and let you sort it all out. Have fun!

We'll start with the longest quote ever...from Grant Hill of course.

"Typically after back-to-backs we have the day off but we came in and just walked through some things and tried in at least one day -- we'll have practice tomorrow of course -- to get them acclimated, get them comfortable with what we're trying to do and it's kind of this team's sort of training camp and so we've got to be patient with that and I think they're picking it up but tomorrow it will be good to go against live competition, five-on-five, and then we've got a very hot team -- although they lost last night -- coming in a day later."

Question: Do you know, will you guard LeBron, D-Wade?

"I don't know, I was thinking Arroyo."

  • There were some positives coming out of these last few games, notably Josh Childress playing well
  • Grant joked that he will be taking 25 shots per game now that JRich is gone...different nights, different guys is the real answer

Steve Nash
  • It's going to take time to teach the new guys how we play on both ends of the floor
  • "You hope for the best, that it's a quick transition. You don't really have much choice so we'll just be optimistic and try and work through it as fast as we can."
  • Steve wouldn't say the great energy the team played with in OKC and SA was connected to the trade as much as just wanting to play well after the poor performance in Dallas and guys recognizing the need to step up since the team was short-handed
  • "I was OK. For me, I'm just trying to turn that corner physically. A back-to-back is not the easiest way to judge it but I felt OK. Hopefully, I can keep improving here and have a prolonged stretch where I don't have to think about my health."
  • Steve said he didn't feel any set-back due to the blow he took early in the Dallas game but said it was a shame because he was feeling good that night
  • "I mean we're starting all over so I don't know where we are." But we are optimistic and need to take the challenge. "Now we've got new, new guys so it's like Christmas."
  • Nash hasn't had a chance to talk to the new guys yet, but asked about Carter saying he can take some of the pressure of Nash by having him play off the ball, Steve said he's all for whatever makes us a better team
Audio Nash practice 122110

Mickael Pietrus
  • MP is used to playing in the West and is excited to be here
  • "I came here to win and that's all I got in my mind is win basketball games"
  • Very happy that Marcin can show people what he can do after backing up Dwight, "which was great, because we had Dwight"
  • Looking forward to playing with one of the best point guards in the NBA 
  • "I'm very excited about meeting Steve Nash but I just want to let him know that I'm a better soccer player in case if he wants to know"
  • Pietrus is a funny guy. Not just witty either but he's got great comedic timing and delivery
  • "My favorite team used to be France, before last summer."
  • I tried to get number 34 but forgot that it was Charles Barkley. So number 12
  • "I'm going to make some mistakes because I'm new to the system. It's like you used to drive a Chevy and they give you Ferrari. You got to get used to the speed."
  • "I'm a winner so you know, just try to win games"
  • Thank you!


Marcin Gortat

  • It's easy to pick up the systems, just the calls are different. I'm 100% sure I'm going to have some problem with that
  • But one of the options is always to just go set a screen for Steve
  • Great city with lots of sports -- football, baseball, NHL
  • Gentry has a great style and likes to give playing time to the young guys. Finally, after so many years...
  • Marcin has only worn #13 in his life and that of course is taken so he went with #4 which was the number of his former German coach and great point guard Sasa Obradovic. "He's one of the best point guards in Europe back in the day." 
  • Gortat is a fan of Michael Vick. He's the greatest
  • Marcin is excited to meet Wojtek Wolski, a Polish player on the Phoenix Coyotes. He's also going to be meeting with former Sun and fellow Pole, Maciej Lampe on Thursday. Lampe is coming to town for the game. Basically, if you are of Polish decent and you live in Phoenix you now have a big friend
  • Haven't yet talked about minutes but think Gentry will be cool with him doing things that he couldn't do in Orlando and give him more freedom than he had 
  • Asked about missing Stan Van Gundy's yelling, Marcin said, "I know Coach Gentry from the games. He's not losing his mind over there. It's going to be a little bit different I'll say."



  • Today was just walking through some things, tomorrow will be five-on-five practice
  • Gortat gives us more size. Vince one of the greatest players in the league. Pietrus helps so Grant doesn't always have to cover the other team's best player (Kobe, Durant, Melo, etc.)
  • Gentry is back to saying that it's not a negative having too many players that need minutes...that comes after a few weeks talking about how hard it is to play 5 guys at two positions (a problem that still exists)
  • It's going to be different for those guys with Dwight not being here touching the ball 30 to 40 times. It's a good luxury but without him there will be more lanes for Vince
  • For Thursday's game they will only know about 25% of the Suns "stuff" but a lot of Phoenix plays are reacting and all these guys are veterans. There will be adjustment period and it's not going to happen over night
  • Not surprised at all by Josh's recent good play


Audio: Vince Carter practice 122110

Here's the big stories from Vince about his knee and Goran denying a report that he almost came to blows with Hedo:

Vince Carter Unsure About Knee Injury Ramifications - SB Nation Arizona
Vince Carter has a nagging injury to his left knee. He is unsure what the treatment plan will be or if he will miss any time for his new team.

Goran Dragic Denies NY Post Report Of Fight With Hedo Turkoglu - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
"Me and Hedo? When?" he asked. "Oh no, we were good. When he was here, every time we went together for the dinner, lunch. We didn't have fight on the court or off the court, so I don't know."

Here's a clip of the play that Vince injured his knee. Nice move.

And a little Earl Clark update...seems he's wearing # 3 in honor of Allen Iverson but I think we all know that it's really Jared Dudley that's he's honoring with that number choice:

Now with the Orlando Magic, Earl Clark Embraces Opportunity to Contribute - Orlando Pinstriped Post
With a new city came a new uniform number; Clark wore no. 55 in Phoenix, but has switched to no. 3 to honor Allen Iverson here in Orlando. The Magic initially issued him a uniform with no. 55 on it, and had to scramble to accommodate his no. 3 request.

As such, his uniform for Monday's loss in Atlanta, in which he did not play, bore the Hawks' distinct no. 3 font instead of Orlando's. When the Magic's Dante Marchitelli explained the mix-up to Clark, the Louisville product laughed and said, "I thought it looked funny."




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