At this point, what else can you say about the Phoenix Suns who at 20-24 are seeing their season slip away. They held a team meeting after practice yesterday where everyone sat in a circle and passed the conch and took turns talking to each other and to team President, Lon Babby and Managing Partner, Robert Sarver. The message from that was basically that they need to play better. What else could they possibly say? The excuses have run out.
One thing hinted at by Coach Alvin Gentry is some tweaks to his lineup or rotation that would probably mean more time for Mickael Pietrus while trying to cut back on minutes for Grant Hill to help prevent running the poor guy into the ground in what has basically become a lost season. Hill left the game on Wednesday versus the Charlotte Bobcats with a knee injury. No word yet on his status for tonight.
"I wanted to establish a constant starting five and then a rotation." At some stage, if it's not working out, obviously as the head coach it's my responsibility to maybe look elsewhere personnel wise and maybe make some changes in the lineup and our rotations. That's what you have to do when you're not getting done what you expect to get done," Gentry said yesterday.
Tonight's opponent, the Boston Celtics, comes in with 35-10 record having beaten the Portland Trail Blazers last night on TNT. Playing teams on the second of a back-to-back hasn't help the Suns much this season but Boston is an older group.
Possibly helping the Suns even more is starting forward Paul Pierce who left the game last night with a knee injury and is listed as a game-time decision. Shaquille O'Neal has missed the last three games due to a hip injury. His status for tonight is unknown. Starting Celtics center, Kendrick Perkins, made his return from knee surgery this week. He played about 20 minutes in his first two games but on the second of a back-to-back after being out several months could be limited even more tonight.
This game tips off at 8:30 p.m. local time and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN and locally on Fox Sports Arizona. Suns fans can follow along with the game at the live thread at Bright Side of the Sun.