When Alvin Gentry came to address the media after the game he looked like a coach on his last thread of patience. His team, for what feels like the 100th time, dug themselves a hole, not another double-digit hole, but a hole nonetheless. These were his first words:
"We got to stop having the starts we're having and the only way we can deal with that is that we are going to have to change the line-ups. So the next game we play it won't be the same line-up that you've seen. I haven't decided exactly what I am going to do there, but we'll do something. We'll do something."
That is about the gist of it as the starters missed easy lay-up after uncontested jump-shot to dig a 0-9 hole that they managed to remedy themselves, but once again they had to exert so much energy to get back to even with the Heat that they didn't have the energy late in the game.
"It is hard for me because I see those guys, Sebastian (Telfair) and those guys do such a great job of just digging in and competing. I think (P.J.) Tucker did a great job on LeBron, as good a job as you can do. I thought Jermaine (O'Neal) did a great job and that Markieff (Morris) did a great job. We just got to get everybody on the same page and the same goals. That is the way I see it."
The coach has a point.
The Heat were minus Dwyane Wade and featured a LeBron James that was under the weather and clearly not himself. When you have a team with three All-Stars show up in your building with one and a half All-Stars you have to jump them early and the Suns just didn't do that.
When the bench came in they had an answer for Chris Bosh and James in the form of unrelenting energy and an insatiable heart to battle the defending NBA Champions.
Tonight the bench finished with 51 points (the starters, 37), three players in double figures (only two starters did that), 17 rebounds (22 for the starters), and they forced 5 turnovers (8 for the starters). All of that spells a clear lack of a sense of urgency from the starters and that maybe the bench is just hungrier.
Those four did a great job as Markieff Morris is beginning to play consistent on both ends of the floor, Jermaine O'Neal adds a presence in the paint, Sebastian Telfair brings the energy, and P.J. Tucker is the glue.
When you have Shannon Brown scoring the way he has been over the past two weeks those four are able to come in and just play hard, all out every minute to really put pressure on their opponent.
All of that adds up to the Suns seventh loss of the season and continuing their tailspin to three games overall. Granted all three of those losses came to playoff caliber teams, the Suns seem to be a team looking for some changes to spark a new result next week.
The team has three days off to figure that out and may need all 72 of those hours to find the answer.