The Phoenix Suns squeezed in a practice between home games coming off of the heels of their most complete game of the season. With the way they practiced an outsider looking in would have thought they were on the losing end 24 hours earlier.
For two and a half hours the team practiced hard with everyone leaving either drenched in sweat or that good kind of tired.
They are looking to get some consistency out of Markieff Morris going forward after he came out of his shell last night. That starts in practice where he has to be "engaged" as the team continues to put it. The buzz word has been just that for 24 hours, engaged, a principle that Morris, Gortat, and the collective bench needs to maintain.
After practice Coach Gentry was not available for comment as he went to a golf tournament for charity, but I did get the chance to speak with Jared Dudley and Marcin Gortat. There was not a lot of news to come out of this practice, but nonetheless the team did put in work.
Dudley on the overall team play so far:
"I think if we were playing really good we could be 6-2 right now. I think the Orlando game we should have won and maybe the home opener. Miami outplayed us for the most part. We are learning on the fly, like I told you all these new guys are trying to find the different games. We see on the film what the problem is and now it just takes repetition."
Gortat on the team's lack of rebounding technique so far:
"This is just habit. It is just a habit that a lot of players have and unfortunately we have to break that habit."
That habit Gortat is referencing is about the Suns team rebounding and lack of boxing out. They are running to the ball and forgetting the basic principle of rebounding; put your body on someone.
"Everybody wants to try to get the rebound, but first we have to box out. Unfortunately we are not always doing it. Secondly we have to get tougher, that is it. If you really want to go get a rebound and you don't want to box out we have to anticipate that that guy is going to fly at you with full speed. If you don't want to box out you have to go up, hard, and strong to secure the ball and we are just not doing it. Those "unathletic guys" should focus more on boxing out I thing and those athlete guys supposed to take those balls from the rim, but they have to do it hard. We have to get better and we have made a lot of mistakes during the games."
News and Notes:
- Jermaine O'Neal still has no timetable for a return as he is out due to his Aunt's funeral
- No injuries to report
- The team hosts the Chicago Bulls (4-3) on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. local time
- There is a confidence within the team that they can win two out of three to close out the week
Bonus Dudley on the Suns Bench 2010 v. Suns Bench 2012:
"It is different types. We had more firepower when we were there, Channing Frye was there. Lou Amundson was all energy, (Leandro) Barbosa could score at will, and you had Goran (Dragic). I would say they are a little more feisty when they get at you, but offensively we could score better than the starters sometimes. They will come along, they need to find more of an identity of who they want to score and when. We knew Goran could do pick-and-rolls and he was going to swing it to Channing and myself to shoot the ball. It is a different team, but they can be effective in their own way."