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The Setting Suns

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 1/19/2011 2:23:30 PM

It’s hard to believe any basketball purist would root blindly for the Phoenix Suns because basically, they just play one side of ball.

This team has become a good team to bet against of late and the playoff window is closing fast.

They opened the year losing 3 of their first 4 games and it has only gotten worse.

Since the second week in December till mid January, they only won 7 games but there is guilt by association in the evaluation.

The wins came against mostly weak teams like Minnesota, Detroit, Cleveland and Jersey with the only quality victories by three over Oklahoma, by 4 over Portland and one blowout vs. the Knicks when New York turned the ball over 18 times.

Everybody who follows the league knows that come spring, defensive wins games and the glaring weakness of Phoenix can be seen by their lackadaisical attitude on that end of the floor.

They are a franchise that has financial problems and the frustration can be heard loud and clear from a new addition, Marcin Gortat, who gives the Suns a much-needed big man. The ‘Polish Hammer’ as Gortat is known, identified the problem with Phoenix almost immediately.

The Hammer: “It’s just a little bit frustrating when you come in here to the locker room and people are talking about the offense, you guys are talking about the offense. That’s not the way you’re going to win NBA games. I don’t know if it’s just me or maybe I’m just different, but I came from a team where everybody’s competing, trying, do the stuff that Coach is saying. We just totally changing our rotations, changing the stuff we set before the game. We’re not playing hard enough, and there’s a lot of, lot of work in front of us. The positive thing is it can’t get worse.”

He goes on: “There are so many things that we’re doing bad, and I just can’t find an explanation. A lot of people are trying to get some rebounds and such, but unfortunately there aren’t too many opportunities for me to rebound because if the team is scoring 100 something points there’s not much to rebound. It’s just frustrating as hell. I’m not going to lie. Now it’s kind of like a reality check for me being from a team that’s winning to a team that’s losing, I mean we are the worst defensive team in the league. We’ve just got to come tomorrow as early as possible and work three hours at least.”

“I think we’ve just got to be more serious about everything that we do. We’ve got to be more serious, we’ve got a lot of young guys on the team, a lot of potential, but a lot of young guys who don’t know what it’s like to be on top and at a high level. It’s not just the focus of the game; it’s the focus at the practice. You can’t have people coming in and doing different things. You’ve got to read the scouting report, you’ve got to read which guys likes to do what, and we’ve just got to learn. There’s a lot of work, a lot of work. If Philly’s scoring 120 points I don’t want to see teams like that.”

Finally, Gortat: “It’s just different mentality. You’ve got a lot of veterans in Orlando and you’ve got different mentalities, coaching mentality, everything’s different.

The project in Phoenix could unravel at any moment, as they will be hard pressed to make the playoffs.


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