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Phoenix Suns make lineup change, Markieff Morris, Shannon Brown to start vs. Portland

Phoenix hoping to shake things up a bit to play less from behind.

Stephen Dunn

Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said that "subtle" lineup changes were coming for the game Wednesday night against the Portland Trailblazer. While most believed that would be one change involving Shannon Brown, Gentry announced to the media in his pregame meeting that he would be starting Brown in place of Jared Dudley (expected) and Markieff Morris in place of Luis Scola (unexpected).

Gentry wanted to make it perfectly clear that "it's not that these are the two guys that are not performing," but rather the team "needs to see if [it] can do something different."

Gentry noted the consistent playing from behind and he wanted to see if this can improve the overall rotation. "If this doesn't work, those guys might back in the lineup," he said. However, at the same time, he did indicate that he was going to give it a few games to see how it goes. Likewise, he isn't going to have a quick hook within a game like tonight if the lineup is not gelling. He said that he would ride it out to see how they handle it.

The biggest concern the team has is how Luis Scola responds and performs off the bench. Scola "has been a starter since he came into the league," so that is the unknown. Dudley has come off the bench, so Gentry is not too worried about that.

On Portland's side, J.J. Hickson will not play and is inactive because of a shoulder injury. Rookie Meyers Leonard will start in his place.

Head coach Terry Stotts spoke to the media before Gentry did and he had heard that there might be changes to the Suns' lineup, but could not say how would affect things. "Once we see the lineup we'll see what we do," he said.

"I don' think their lineup will dictate a change in our lineup," he continued. "We want to play our game.

Here are the starting lineups for both teams:

Suns/Blazers:

PG: Goran Dragic / Damian Lillard

SG: Shannon Brown / Wesley Matthews

SF: Michael Beasley / Nicolas Batum

PF: Markieff Morris / LaMarcus Alldridge

C: Marcin Gortat / Meyers Leonard