Sitting at 16-32 the Phoenix Suns hit the road for three straight and what will amount to six out of seven total in the coming weeks. Challenging times for the team as they are currently sitting on two straight losses and it does not get any easier looking at the upcoming schedule.
What did they do?
Practice in general ran long. They were scrimmaging there at the end and ran a little longer than they originally anticipated, but that is how you get better as a team. But missing the flight to Memphis is not, so they better get on that bus!
After practice Interim Head Coach Lindsey Hunter discussed the teams goals on the road and what they are trying to do, which are not very different than day one of his tenure here.
"The same thing that we have been preaching, getting better," stated Hunter on his goals this trip. "We had a really good, intense practice today and we will continue to do that and continue to build. Just trying to continue to sure up our foundation defensively and clean up our passing offensively."
Going forward the team needs to maximize the effort from rookie Kendall Marshall and lightning rod Michael Beasley, because they play major roles for the team, and without their play, the team is very limited in terms of depth. With Sebastian Telfair getting DNP (Did Not Play) Coaches Decisions the past two games it is even more important to get everything they can out of Marshall. More on him later.
Beasley was not down on himself after the Dallas loss and it showed with another quality showing at Golden State. The outcome was not what the team was looking for, but they got production out of their Six Million Dollar Man.
"We had a chance to win the game, but they broke out late," Beasley on the Dallas loss. "They really made the right plays, we didn't necessarily do anything wrong, but we just didn't do everything right. As far as me individually I just missed shots. Just missed shots."
The team needs to gain confidence in the system, which takes time, but all the coaches are looking for is confidence and for the players to get better, "I think indecisiveness brings questions of where to go. You cannot do it full speed until you are sure."
Jermaine O'Neal -- He stated he is ready to go in full on Tuesday at Memphis, interim head coach Hunter agreed, but insinuated the leash may be short.
We don't know yet. We don't know how he will respond after today's practice so we will see. We will talk to the trainers and play it by ear.
Interim Coach Lindsey Hunter on road games:
It is a lot of variables that go into it. I think experience, how good defensively you are -- I think that really counts when you are on the road, and not turning the ball over. Those are all areas that we can get better in and that will be our focus. Like I said, we will focus on the fundamental things we have been working on and everything else will take care of itself.
More Coach Hunter on Kendall Marshall as the teams back-up point:
There really is no timeline, just production and how he handles the situation. He is coming along pretty good. I like what I've seen out of him, our guys really love playing with him, and he just has to get used to the length and the speed of these guys. Some of those passes I am sure he could get away with at Carolina, but he just has to realize he cannot throw those halfcourt lackadaisical passes and he will get better at it.
Hunter also added, "If he keeps growing and he keeps better and producing, you know, we will push him until we see what we got."
Sebastian Telfair on the recent DNP's:
"Nope," stated Bassy on whether Hunter has spoken to him about his role going forward. "Just staying ready and when my number is called I will be ready. We are having a losing season right now and I guess I am one of the casualties of it."
The 2013 NBA Draft Update (Changing It Up)
As of today the team is slotted in the 6th spot and the 13th spot in the draft if it were to happen today. The 13th pick comes via the Los Angeles Lakers who are playing sub-playoff quality basketball hence the swap of the pick.
Here are the players they are taking in the current Mock Draft: