When things aren't working, you have to try something and for Phoenix Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry, that means shorter rotations, an established and consistent starting lineup, and increasing the tempo. With just two wins in the last ten games and a performance Friday that earned boos from the home crowd, Gentry is going away from what worked last season. but has so far failed him this year.
"I've tried to coach these guys like I coached last year's team and it's not the same team. The chemistry is not the same," Gentry said.
"Last year, we could play guys whenever we wanted to, who was going good, things like that. I think I've got to find a way to develop some consistency in the rotations and who's going to play and when they're going to play and them have a good feel as to when they're going to come in the game and stuff like that. This team's not a team that can play ten guys. I do understand that now. There's going to be three, four guys that are not going to be in the rotation."
Gentry will start Robin Lopez, Channing Frye, Grant Hill, Vince Carter and Steve Nash tonight and said that he would stick with that starting unit for the next ten games and stop trying to adjust to what other teams were doing.
He pointed out that two of the best games the Suns have played recently came against Oklahoma and San Antonio when the team was short-handed right after the trade.
"I just have to try and establish some more consistency and a pattern of rotations and substitutions and see if that's something that can help with the overall mindset of a guy and how he plays," he added.
Gentry gave the Suns the day off yesterday to help clear their minds and get both a mental and physical break. The upcoming schedule won't allow for many days off.
Asked about hearing boos from the home crowd on Friday, Gentry was understanding of where the fans were coming from. "The thing with people, they want their money's worth ... We've got great fans here. They love the way we play, they've been very supportive of us. We also have to keep our end of the bargain."
Suns broadcaster Tom Leander asked if there was a risk of tonight being "trap" game with the Cavs coming in with a poor record and an injury-depleted team.
"We have not played well enough to be any trap game. We couldn't be in a trap game if we were playing Appalachian State, my old alma mater. We're in a situation now where we need a win and we need a win in the worst way."