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Phoenix Suns Practice Report: Robin Lopez' Back's Back

Poor Robin's back. I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with the big man's bulging disks but it's only because of the brilliant basketball I saw the Suns playing with Mr. Fropez on the court.

Once again after practice, Robin tried to escape the prying eyes of the media hordes (comprised of Paul Coro and myself) and flee to the training room. But Paul set a solid screen across the hall and we trapped him for a brief moment of grunted responses as he turned away and made it clear that he didn't want to stop and shoot the breeze. 

It's a shame really, that Robin isn't able to put his own frustration aside and use these opportunities to speak to his fans who want nothing more than his speedy recovery and long-term health.

But as we know well, Robin is a man of comic book sized emotions. POW! BAM!! KABOOM!!!! And he's nowhere near making peace with his situation.

Me: "What's your gut say about playing in the playoff? What do you think?"

Robin: "I hope so. We'll see."

Me: "Frustrating?"

Robin: "Well, obviously."

Obviously so, and who can blame him, which isn't to say one wouldn't hope for a bit more engagement when talking about his situation. We are not asking these questions to try and catch him out or to blame him for his injury. Oh well, I guess that's just how enforcers roll. Obviously.

What we (mostly Paul) was able to get out of Robin is that the doctors will reevaluate him on Monday, and so far he's only doing strengthening exercises. No running. No work on the court. No shooting. He continues to deny any pain and says that he's always optimistic about injuries.

Hopefully, the team will have more of a timetable after his examination on Monday. My guess is that he's still at least two weeks from playing which still could bring him back in time for the second round.

Gentry's Notes (in paraphrase form):

  • We played well enough defensively. Durant was going to get his points because he's a volume shooter but he got to the line too much
  • We can't defend turnovers. Turned it over 20 times, that's 20 shots we don't get at the basket. They had 13 shots at the basket
  • Disappointing because if we picked it up a bit offensively and got shots at the basket we could have won
  • Turnovers not the result of Thunder defense. A lot turnover were from bad decisions
  • We played against a lot of good defensive team and still averaged 110 points per game
  • Still in control of our destiny but the task is tougher. If we win our last three games we will be in a great situation, if we don't it will be up in the air
  • No worries with Lakers benching Kobe against the the Nuggets. I would have done the same thing if I have the #1 seed locked up
  • Nash should have a lot more juice in the playoffs due to extra rest he's been getting and reduced minutes. Rotations tighten so expect he will play more
  • Can't turnover the ball nine times in the quarter (third). It was a big game for them and they outplayed us
  • We did a poor job on the post entry passes. We did poor job throwing the ball into the post and we did a poor job holding our position. I couldn't quite understand our execution in that area
  • We just got to get ready to adjust to the increase physicality
  • Houston is playing real well and trying to make sure they have a good season. They will be a challenge and Denver and Utah will be a huge challenge
  • Not much will change from those three games to the playoffs in intensity because all those games mean a lot
  • It helps use going into the playoffs having to play these important games to end the season
  • Mo Cheeks told Gentry that he can't believe that Nash is playing the way he's playing especially the way he plays. He thought it was amazing that Steve was still playing at this level