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Marcin Gortat seeing decline in defense

The Suns' big man is losing his edge in one area he's used to excelling.

US PRESSWIRE

Marcin Gortat's defensive production is in decline this season, and it's cause for concern for a 7-9 Phoenix Suns team struggling to stay competitive in the Western Conference.

The German's defense ranked in the 83rd percentile among NBA players with respect to points per possession. He had an overall rating of excellent a season ago, and was the defender of record on 12 percent of all plays executed against the Suns.

This season, however, he falls in just the 13th percentile among NBA defenders and has a poor rating. Head coach Alan Gentry has gone on record and written off Gortat's complaints that he is lacking a more substantial role in the team's offense.

The Suns are fourth in the Pacific Division and rank last in the NBA in opponent's points per game, averaging a mark of 102.6. They are 28th in the league in opponents' field goal percentage of 47.1 percent from the field.