1 Total Update since October 12, 2010
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
That's how it goes in the preseason.
You get limited production from your key veteran guys like Nash and Hill and you don't worry about them. You are looking for the second and third unit to show something and you try and get some guys a few minutes playing together.
It's simply not meaningful to look at a practice session (which is all these games are) and read too much into anything. The entire month of October is training camp and the exhibition games are, at best, dress rehearsals but in reality much more like a fancy scrimmage.
"For the most part I think it was a typical preseason game. I think we're trying defensively. They (Utah Jazz) shot 43 percent which is good," Coach Gentry said after the game.
This final score in this game obviously came down to the Suns turnovers (20) and the free throw shooting (59 percent). As far as the box score is concerned, Phoenix did well in all the other categories.
"We talk after the game with coach that we had 20 turnover and missed like 14 free throws. If we want to win these kinds of games we have to eliminate our turnovers and hit some free throws," Suns backup point guard Goran Dragic said.
Dragic played better tonight then in his previous preseason games and finished with 15 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds in just 21 minutes of play. His three point shooting helped spark a 13-2 run in the fourth quarter that gave the Suns a brief (and rare) lead.
"It was a little better than the two games before -- getting my legs back. I was pressuring the ball full court and making some shots and today I was feeling really great," Dragic said.
Overall, the free throws and missed shots can be partially attributed to the every day practice schedule that the Suns are on currently. They are pushing hard right now to build up their endurance and strength but are working at a pace that's much more intense physically than it will be during the regular season.
"It's preseason and some players have -- how you say -- tough legs and still need some free days to recover. Hopefully, when season is going to start we're going to make everything," Goran explained.
Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan wasn't happy despite the win. Of course, that's not really a surprise given his reputation.
"I thought I saw the worst shots I've ever seen us take," Sloan said. "We're trying to win a ball game and got selfish. We had like four possessions in a row when we had three guys guarding us and we had one guy take the ball to the basket."
The Suns will have a full practice session tomorrow morning and then fly to Utah for another preseason game on Thursday. They will then travel to Toronto for a re-match with the Raptors on Sunday.
For more post game reaction, visit Bright Side of the Sun.
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
Suns fans, at least those with tickets, will finally get to see their team play on their home court. Four games into the preseason the boys will lace 'em up tonight against the Utah Jazz at US Airways Center.
This will be the fourth preseson game for the Suns (1-2) and the half-way point of the eight-game exhibition schedule. The Suns are still working on building cohesion with the starting and second units but Coach Gentry says that he will continue to experiment with different lineups tonight.
"We'll still look at a few situations and see if they're going to be available for us and how a particular group plays together but I think all in all we'll see very similar to the rotations we saw (Saturday against the Mavericks)," he said.
Gentry says we can expect the Suns starters to play in the low- to mid-20 minute range. The Suns face the Jazz again on Wednesday in Utah and then on October 28 in the second game of the regular season. Three times in two weeks is a lot of Jazz for Gentry.
"They beat you up pretty good so there's no reason to get all beaten up in the preseason. I'll limit Steve (Nash) and some of the other guys' minutes some what and be able to take a look at some of these other guys in those situations," Gentry said after this morning's shoot around.
The Jazz played last night in Portland where they beat the Trail Blazers 109-100.
Interestingly enough, that game featured undrafted rookie Ryan Thompson (brother of Kings forward Jason Thompson) starting at the two-guard in front of ex-Sun Raja Bell. Bell is averaging 18.5 minutes with 5 points, 1.5 rebounds and is shooting 25 percent from three.
A bright spot for the Jazz is third-year big man, Kyrlo Fresenko. Fresenko wasn't exactly impressive when we saw him last season but he did resign with the Jazz this offseason and is averaging 11.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1 block in 22 minutes per game in the preseason. It could be a good matchup for Robin Lopez.
The Jazz also feature rookie forward Gordon Hayward off the bench. Haywood famously helped lead his small Butler College team deep into the NCAA tournament last March. He was drafted in the ninth spot by the Jazz this summer and is averaging 7.5 points and 3 rebounds per game in a Jazz uniform.