Coming off of a tough, devastating loss the Phoenix Suns (11-18) took to practice early this morning to get prepared for a three game road swing. The team flies out today so it was a very quick, early practice to work on the current issues plaguing the team.
Here is what I learned.
What Did The Team Do?
The theme of practice was "when we watched film on that" so it appears that on top of the typical physical walk through in practice the team did a lot of film study. Most of the teams' errors have been coming off of very similar mistakes, which is disconcerting for the coaching staff.
With the team typically one, two, or three plays away from a victory in most cases having mental lapses on the defensive end and poor turnovers late have been killing them.
They spent a lot of time reviewing the lapses on the defensive end, especially the rotations on three point shots. It is not one player or two players making a mistake, it is a collection of 10 or so miscues a game from players, rotations, and positioning leading to a team getting clean looks.
Goran Dragic took a nasty fall that was, according to Gentry, "not a dirty play at all." He did not practice today and is "pretty sore" according to his coach.
The wrist is not the primary issue for Dragic as the bulk of the fall was absorbed by his... posterior. "The wrist is just a minor sprain, nothing serious," stated Dragic after practice. So where does it hurt? "Especially since I am really skinny... The butt is really hurting me right now."
With the way coach discussed the injury and its severity right now Dragic looks very doubtful for the game Friday night at the Indiana Pacers. In that case, Sebastian Telfair will start, Kendall Marshall gets back-up minutes, and Diante Garrett will be activated.
Coach Gentry's Take:
"When you do what we did, first of all we had a wide open guy that we didn't get the ball to and then we step out of bounds. When you do that I am telling you the Basketball Gods really frown upon that and usually something bad happens. It is kind of what our year has been like we just didn't make that one or two plays that win a game for us, rather than just saying you played great, you played hard, just keep your head up. I don't want to keep my head up. I want to win games. Everybody else in there (players in the locker room) wants to win games too." -- On the final minutes of last night's loss
"I think it will be tough for him to line-up against Indiana, but he is a tough, tough kid so Minnesota he may be ok." -- On Dragic's injury
The 2013 NBA Draft Update
As of today the team is slotted in the 8th spot and the 12th spot in the lottery of the draft if it were to happen today. The 12th pick comes via the Los Angeles Lakers who are playing sub-playoff quality basketball, hence the swap of the pick.
The Suns would also receive the Memphis Grizzlies pick (No. 25) today.
Here are the players they are taking in the current Mock Draft (The Mock does not reflect current standings):
At No. 8 - Michael Carter-Williams
At No. 10 - Dario Saric
At No. 27 - Jeff Withey