The Suns face the Toronto Raptors for the second time this preseason and for the second time will pull out their passports and head north of the border. The first trip didn't go so well with the Raptors delivering a 51-point beating of the Suns in a game that head coach Alvin Gentry all but refuses to acknowledge even happened.
For Hedo Turkoglu, it will once again be an adventure into boo-land as those polite Canadians let him know how they feel about his terrible season in a Raptor uniform.
Welcome back Turk? Not likely - thestar.com
Turkoglu and the Suns are in Toronto to play the Raptors again Sunday afternoon and if there’s any sure thing in the world, it’s that the washout Toronto free agent will be treated with disdain bordering on outright hatred the minute he walks on the court.
It is funny how all these players that don't end up wanting to stay in Toronto are the villains. The commonality in these situations isn't Hedo or Chris or Vince. The commonality is the Toronto Raptors. But I guess that's normal for the jilted lover to be bitter and not introspective.
Anyway, that's not what's on the mind of the Suns. They are still very much a team trying to learn how to play together and are well aware of the work to be done.
"We've got a lot of work to do," Steve Nash said. "We play a lot of guys so we've got a lot of moving parts and a lot of guys to fit together so we need time. We definitely need the next nine days to get ready to go."
"We've got a lot of guys we're trying to incorporate into the lineup. Right now we're playing, I don't know, 14 or 15 guys. So, it's hard to really judge the complete picture when we're playing so many guys and still trying to find combinations."
That extended rotation will continue in this game according to Gentry who spoke yesterday after the team had a full practice session before heading to the airport for the cross-country/cross-boarder flight.
This will be the last time, however, that he plays that way. Gentry said that in the team's final two preseason games (both at home next week), he will play a normal regular season 10-man rotation.
Losing in the preseason in these circumstances is understandable but that doesn't take away the sting of getting beat by 51 points. Asked what he thinks about facing Toronto again after the beating the team took in Vancouver, Nash was clear that wasn't just another game.
"Personally, I don't like losing, especially when you get your ass handed to you. So, I don't want that to happen again," Nash said.