For the Phoenix Suns It's Back To Defensive Basics

Best part of playing in Phoenix? These guys won't be here: (From left, Bruce Willis,  Connor Cruise, his father Tom Cruise and producer Jeffrey Katzenberg)

More photos » Mark J. Terrill - AP

Best part of playing in Phoenix? These guys won't be here: (From left, Bruce Willis, Connor Cruise, his father Tom Cruise and producer Jeffrey Katzenberg)

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The word of the day is "simplify," so in an effort to keep this really simple, here's a quick recap of where things went wrong and what the fixes might be.

What went wrong:

Too much fronting, poor communication and rotations, they hit shots.

What will change:

More basic defense sets, more Robin Lopez and better Channing Frye, better communication and hope they miss shots on the road.

And that's just how simple it is.

Although I would add one more thing that's not been discussed: the Lakers did a good job attacking early in their offense before the Suns defense could get set. Before the series, Alvin Gentry said the Lakers would play up tempo and they have. Game 2 had 98 possessions, which is a pretty fast pace.

They were effective running an early high screen and roll with Kobe and Gasol and later in the game beat the front by throwing a quick lob before the rotation players were in position to help from the weak side.

Supporting Quotes

  • "We changed some things to try and avoid the ball in the post area so much with Gasol and Bynum ... I don't deflect anything. I take responsibility for that." - Coach Gentry
  • "You're playing against a team that has superior size and you got to try and do something to combat that. That's what we tried to do. Obviously, it didn't work out." - Coach Gentry
  • "That's what happens when you play a good team with great players; you try and figure out a way if you can help in that particular area and make somebody else beat you, and they've been able to make shots." - Coach Gentry
  • Farmar, Brown and Artest shot the ball better than anticipated -- they went a combined 25 of 54 (57%).
  • "We wanted to front them and limit their touches on the ball," Frye said. "It deterred them for a little while and then they kind of picked it apart at the end. We just have to continually adjust." - Channing Frye
  • "Going to a game plan where we're leaving Artest and Odom open to try and beat us, and they have. Not only did they beat us but Kobe, Gasol and everybody else still played well and you can't have that." - Jared Dudley
  • On keeping those guys from getting good looks early: "If you miss your first two or three shots, it's a lot harder to hit that in the third or fourth quarter." - Jared Dudley
  • "We definitely weren't on the same page. Sometimes we were playing zone and some guys didn't know and some guys did. On traps and rotations, just a little hesitant." - Jared Dudley
  • "Even with that (fronting), they were still finding a way to get the ball in the post, so that was kind of discouraging how we were fronting and they were still scoring in the post, so we definitely have to switch that." - Jared Dudley
  • Fronting creates open jump shots on the opposite corner, opposite wing and if they drive middle, it's hard to help when you're fronting.
  • "I think we over think it a little bit. Coaches are coaches, players are players. When you're playing a great team, you want to be so precise; you want to be on your game and you kind of over think things a little bit too much as players and I think that we're all going to get back to the basics and just play regular basketball. Force baseline, keep 'em out, box out and get back to basics." - Jared Dudley
  • "We will do a lot in that area right there. Simplifying and seeing if that helps at all. It would help if they would miss a few shots, as well. That would help." - Coach Gentry
  • Asked about keeping Robin and Channing on the floor more: "I think that's a good point and we're probably going to have to do that. I think we are very good offensively with the small group in there, but it's just really hard to rebound the basketball and fight those guys even with the effort that Grant and JD gives us, we're still so so undersized." - Coach Gentry
  • Communication, playing smart, playing hard. All three have to change. - Jared Dudley
  • "I think everybody's playing hard, but we just have to play smarter. I don't think the effort is the problem, I think it's 'hey, let's play behind, let's know when to double and if we double know your rotation, know what you're supposed to do afterwards, and once that ball goes up, find a body, box out and lets go.'" - Jared Dudley
  • "We can play better defensively. At the same time, they do cause a lot of problems for us. What we threw at them didn't work so we're going to try and do it better and change it up and do some different things and see what we can do, see how good we can be defensively." - Steve Nash

Dudley practice 052210

Frye practice 052210

Gentry practice 052210

Lou practice 052210

Nash practice 052210


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