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VIDEO: Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams previews team’s first preseason game

Williams talked specifically about the Suns’ backup four spot

Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns - Game Seven Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Here is some of what Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams said before the team’s first preseason game against the Adelaide 36ers.

On his expectations for the team’s first preseason game:

“I think every coach is of the same mindset. You want to see carryover from your practices. You want to see a high level of good habits. You love to see guys getting a level of conditioning. I won’t mess around with rotations tonight, as far as playing different combinations just yet. But from a, ‘What do you want to see,’ standpoint. Just a great deal of carryover from the first four practices.”

On getting all of his players in the game:

“It’s hard. I think the tough part for us is trying to figure out how many bigs we can play in a game. You have four guys that can play. (Center) [Deandre Ayton] is going to start but it’s going to be based on what we feel is best for the team. It’s hard to play 15, 16 guys. I wanted to bring 18, I’m glad we didn’t. Because when you have guys go through a camp like ours, you want those guys at the end of the bench to have a chance to play. And you wouldn’t be able to get those guys in. I’m going to do my best tonight to look at a few groups but I doubt everyone will play.”

On forward Cam Johnson moving to the starting lineup and the rotation behind him:

“I think everybody, but in particular just trying to figure out different ways we can play at the ‘four’ spot. Can we go big? Is that even feasible in this economy? I think it is, but it may be game-specific, if that makes sense. Can (forward) Dario (Saric) play some four? That’s a hard one, especially when you’ve been off for over a year. You come back and you’re thrusted back into the floor, that can be tough. But I think (forward) Torrey (Craig) is going to have time there. (Guard/forward) Damion (Lee) could play some there. I think in a pinch, if (guard) Josh (Okogie) was healthy, I probably would throw him out there. Because he’s so doggone big and strong and he can defend and rebound. But I think that’s the opportunity we have, to see if we can find some different combinations of different people at that spot.”

On Craig’s spot in the rotation:

“This is the first time that he’s been with us for a summer. But it’s the first time we’ve had all of our guys for a normal NBA summer. But it certainly helps him. He’s come to us mid-season, and that’s been tough on him. So I think this year probably helps him. It does help him a ton just to be in the gym with us all summer. He spent a lot of time in Phoenix. He was with us in Vegas (at the NBA Summer League). Who knew we’d be in the position where he’d have a chance to — he may be the backup four for us on opening night. We’ll find out, but he’s got a good shot.”

On backup forward Jock Landale:

“He’s the guy that I think we’re all anxious to see in the games. I don’t want put too much pressure on him but there’s a level of excitement with him because he has the capability of doing a lot on the floor. He’s athletic, he can shoot it, he can rebound it, he’s tough as nails. And he’s got good finishes over both shoulders in the post. We haven’t had that combination, backup big, since I’ve been here.

“He probably can stretch it a little bit farther. So we’ll see if the carryover is there. He’s going to get a shot, for sure. He’s just worked his tail off for two months and he’s been really good in preseason pickup games and he was really good this past week.”

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