What happened yesterday is in the past and the only focus should be on today.
That’s Suns’ guard Isaiah Canaan’s mentality when asked about the ups and downs of the season so far.
“I use a 12 o’clock rule,” Canaan said. “At 12 o’clock it’s a new day. Can’t change what happened before that so I just try to keep that in mind and everyday is a new day.”
Canaan has struggled to find his rhythm as of late. He went from being in the starting lineup to coming off the bench. The past two games he played for a combined 37 minutes and scored zero points.
“It’s just the flow of the game,” Canaan said. “Every game is different. Some games you may get ten looks and some games you may get 2 looks. It’s just a matter of how the flow of the game is going and you just got to make adjustments on the fly.”
Coach Igor Kokoskov likes the size, length and defense of the starting lineup he has been using the past few games with Devin Booker at point guard along side Trevor Ariza, Mikal Bridges, T.J. Warren and Deandre Ayton.
“We’re going to stick with the starting unit that we have right now,” Kokoskov said. “A lot of things are already in place when you consider the starting lineups and rotations so this is what we’re leaving. Right now we just want the one that gives us the best chance to win games.”
Many forget that Canaan suffered a horrific injury back in February last season and it may take some time for him to feel like his true self again.
“I still do got to get the rhythm, still got to get the timing, and it may be a year from now where I feel like I’m all the way back to myself,” Canaan said. “But I’m blessed to be out there. I’m able to play so just got to make the best of the day and how I’m feeling. I mean you play through a lot. I play through a lot. Sometimes, some days I may feel like crap and I still got to get out there and play but it’s part of it. I can’t complain because it could be worse.”
Injured or not, Kokoskov wants to put his team in the best position to win games. If that means giving the point guard less minutes or an opportunity with the second unit he’s going to do that.
“It’s a brutal business,” Kokoskov said. “We talk about what did he do lately for us and it’s about productivity. So not just in his case or any case, we’re searching for the best unit, best guys who can play the best and that’s going to determine who’s going to play in minutes, rotations, all that other stuff.”
Canaan understands that the pressure of losing a starting role or minutes due to poor performance is apart of the game. He’s all for doing what’s best for the team and he respects coach’s decision.
“I’m all about whatever a team needs to win,” Canaan said. “So whether it’s me on the floor or me off the floor as long as we win and as long as we playing well that’s all that matters.”
Whether it’s starting, coming off the bench or playing fewer minutes, Canaan has been in the league long enough to where he has experienced all three.
“I don’t get caught up in starting or not starting,” Canaan said. “My whole career I’ve started games, started playoff games, come off the bench, been sixth man so my thing is as long as I’m playing I’m fine. I don’t get caught up in if I’m starting or if I’m not starting.”
The Suns are coming off of a four game road trip where they went 1-3 but showed fight in every one of their matchups which has definitely been an improvement compared to their start of the season.
“Just coming out and playing hard every game,” Booker said when asked about finding their rhythm. “That was our biggest key point at the beginning of the season and now that we’re doing that we’re competing with a lot of teams. Now we have to work on finishing games, how to sustain a lead, and how to keep fighting throughout all four quarters.”
Hanging on to leads is something that the Suns have struggled doing so far this season but they were able to do that against the Bucks last Friday.
“That Milwaukee win was a big win for us,” Booker said. “It was a game that we were up, they went on a run and we bounced back. It’s just been many times throughout the season where that’s happened where a team has went on a run and it’s been all downhill from there for us. We’ve learned how to come together and keep fighting.”
Booker has also started to get a bit more vocal with the rookie Deandre Ayton who is still trying to find is groove in the NBA.
“Them two, they’re going to play together for a while so they basically just trying to build that chemistry and learning each other and learning how to speak to each other,” Canaan said. “I’m sure there was a moment in the game where Book might have saw something and wanted DA to do it or DA might’ve saw something and wanted Book to do it so they just trying to figure out how they can build that chemistry.”
“They’re playing really well at a high level, Booker said. “It’s just the definition of team basketball. You never know who’s going to lead that team on each given night. It’s a collective group. They had a really big win last night in Utah so hopefully we can take advantage of a back to back and come out with high energy.”
Oladipo has been ruled out for tonight’s game against the Suns. He has been dealing with right knee soreness and is day-to-day.