The Phoenix Suns were scheduled off today, but after the game against the Orlando Magic I spoke to the teams PR Rep and she made it clear this team was practicing. It was clearer when you watched them over the past few games as the mental errors cost them two games and continued the skid.
Here is what we learned today:
What Did The Team Do?
The day started off with a long film session that was nearly an hour and a half showing the team where they are coming up short on the court. Over the past few games the flaws have been plain as day with the lack of execution on both ends of the floor, live ball turnovers turning into fast break points against, and the poor rotations at the rim defensively. Will a look at what they already know change these things? Hopefully, but actions speak louder than film.
On the court the team was short-handed so Assistant Coach Dan Majerle and Player Development Coach Corey Gaines suited up and logged some minutes in practice. The two coaches are still young enough to get out there with the young guys, but as Head Coach Alvin Gentry joked after practice, "they were two of our better defenders in practice."
That was tongue-in-cheek of course, but not far-fetched.
- Point Guard Goran Dragic received two IV's before practice, but was not looking well as Gentry described him as being "white as my shoes," which were of course clean and white. This is not an injury, but is the most costly loss for the team as he is the engine and leader that drive the team. Dragic is expected to be off again tomorrow as well to get better and will try to get on the court Wednesday at home against the Memphis Grizzlies.
- Point Guard Sebastian Telfair did not go with a bruised hamstring. It was entirely cautionary as the veteran did not want to aggravate the nagging injury.
- Small Forward P.J. Tucker did not practice again with his MCL injury to his knee. He was also out for Sunday's game with the hopes that he will be back and healthy for the game against the Grizzlies.
A Quick Word With Lon Babby
The Suns President of Basketball Operations sat down with me to talk about the state of the team.
He has been very happy with the fan support of the team despite the lack of success on the court. Fan Appreciation Night was a successful move and likes doing things to give back to the "life blood" of the team as he described the fans as.
By no means is Babby happy with what is happening on the court and just wants to see progression from his team, but the "parts are better than the sum" right now. Babby has taken notice of the individual play of Dragic, Tucker, and Luis Scola, but that he is not "satisfied" with the product right now. As everyone would, Babby wants this team to win and still thinks they are better than last years group and the 7-15 start is not far off of the 8-14 start from last year. The hope is that the light will switch on like last year when the team was 12-19 at the All-Star Break before putting it together finishing 21-12 and just one game out of the Playoffs.
The 2013 NBA Draft
Right now team scout John Treloar is in Europe scouting and collecting information on the prospects the team will look at in June. The team has been out there scouting the next wave of prospects all season in preparation for the draft.
Trade Winds A Blowing?
Babby would not quantify the teams interest level in making a move, but one thing he did state is that he does not want to wait until the trade deadline to make a move. The team would prefer to pull the trigger on a move sooner if there is a trade to make. The team is listening to inquiries and making calls however to gauge interest in potential moves with the current assets they have.
Keep an eye on the Suns over the next month in terms of potential moves and tweaks.