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Phoenix Suns Searching For Answers To Robin Lopez Decline

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It's no secret that Robin Lopez hasn't played well this season. Early on, there was an allowance for his recovery time from last season's back injury and then ten games in, he sprained his knee when Jared Dudley fell on him. Both Robin and the Coach Alvin Gentry thought that he came back from that left knee rehab in even better shape than the beginning of the season. Robin said the time off let him regain strength in his right leg that suffered nerve damage from the bulging disk injury, which happened in March 2010.

Since his return to action in mid-December, Lopez has averaged 8.3 points and 3.9 rebounds in about 18 minutes of play. However, his numbers have declined sharply since the trade. He has averaged just four points and two rebounds in the last five games, playing about 12 minutes. 

Whatever is causing his poor play, it's a concern to the team.

"Obviously, he's not playing to the level that we anticipated him playing right now. I'm going to sit down with him now and talk about it with him," Gentry said after Thursday's practice.

"We'd like to get his level of play up, obviously, because he becomes very important to us because we've seen him do it here before.

Gentry said that he thought Robin looked healthy and the Suns need him to get back to playing "great basketball" like he was before last season's back injury.

"Physically, I feel fine. I think I need to just start being more aggressive out there, just getting after boards and such," Lopez said. "There were some occasions that my guy got the ball and that can't happen."