New defensive specialist and coordinator, Elston Turner, had his first meeting with the media today since becoming the newest member of the Phoenix Suns coaching staff.  Turner was hired by the Suns on July 11th after being handpicked by Suns head coach Alvin Gentry to be the defensive coach/coordinator.  He now joins fellow Suns assistants Dan Majerle, Bill Cartwright, Igor Kokoskov, and Noel Gillespie on the coaching staff; but with the unique responsibility of teaching the team how to play effective defense and incorporate it into their style of play. 

In an article by Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic, Elston Turner briefly covered some of his plans to address both team and individual defensive performance alike, in hopes of improving last seasons 26th ranked defense and league-worst 30th ranked rebounding.  Although he is currently limited on what he can work on in regards to the specifics of his job, due to the lockout, Turner still sounded prepared to take on the challenge and confident that he can effectively utilize the talent on the team to create a new defensive identity.

Some of the more interesting points Turner covered in his media address included a plan to commit 40 minutes of each practice to working on defense.  Since the Suns are already known for having relatively short practices compared to other teams, one would assume that this would mean practice times will also increase next season to accommodate this new commitment.  Another interesting topic Turner covered was how he could help Steve Nash become a fantastic team defender and an effective solo defender by helping him utilize his proven ability to read the plays before they happen.

Whether or not Elston Turner will actually be able to change the attitude and the overall culture of the team remains to be seen.  However, it is evident that the Suns are committed to improving their defense in the coming seasons.  If Elston Turner receives the necessary support from the rest of the coaching staff and can also get the players to buy into his methods, the Suns may finally find a solution to their biggest issue which has plagued them since the Mike D'antoni days.

 

Source:  The Arizona Republic


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Phoenix Mercury: Top Offense, Great Defense, No Unicorns

Missing basketball? How about a top offensive team that dropped 112 points (in 40 min) on the league's best defense that's also +3 in reb diff and holding opp to .424 FG%.

Also, we will have more details, but we are putting a BSoS group outing to a Mercury game on August 9th vs Minnesota (Maya Moore). Deal is $15 for $49 lower level tix plus a tour of the Suns locker room. Stay tuned.


Josh Childress knows a little bit about going overseas to play ball.  Some other guys interviewed him and asked about his experience and his opinion on whether the locked out should pursue jobs overseas.

While Childress made some good money going overseas, I can't see that it has helped his career on the court. Nevertheless, Childress isn't the caliber of player now talking about bailing on the NBA during the lockout. Said Childress:

 

"I understand that guys really want to play. But you sometimes have to look at what you have and treat this as a business. The only way I could see it making sense is if you're a player from a particular country going back. But for an American player with a good-sized guaranteed deal here, I can't see why you'd do it."

 

Childress also talks about the rude awakening to some who haven't counted on geographical and cultural differences:

"I played for one of the biggest clubs in Europe," Childress says. "But there were still six- and seven-hour bus rides, we didn't stay at the best hotels and we flew commercial nine out of 10 times. And not all coaches care about your body. It's more military style. There's no getting tired. I'll be interested to see how guys' bodies respond."

One cannot help but wonder if all this talk about playing overseas is only a ploy by the players. It's a pretty big card to play, and as nothing seems to stand in the way of a very long lockout, why not play it now?


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Phoenix Suns restricted free agent point guard Aaron Brooks, acquired in a trade deadline deal in exchange for fan favorite Goran Dragic and the Suns lower 1st round pick in the 2011 draft, expects to re-sign with the Suns, according to phone interview quotes from Hoops World.

Brooks struggled mightily as a Houston Rocket last season after badly spraining his ankle and losing his starting position. His play improved after the trade to Phoenix, but still left many Suns fans disappointed as he didn't provide the lift needed to get the team into the playoffs. The 2009-2010 NBA Most Improved Player averaged 9.6 points and 4.2 assists per game in his 25 games as a Sun.

There is no shortage of Brooks critics among Suns fans, but there aren't many viable options at backup point guard among the free agent pool. If Brooks returns, it will mean one less roster hole the Suns need to fill going forward.

Brooks' demeanor and attitude were questionable at the time of the trade since he sulked and complained after losing his starting job in Houston to Kyle Lowry, basically forcing the Rockets to trade him. His shoot-first mentality was also a little jarring for Suns fans used to seeing Steve Nash's uber-facilitating ways.

Still, Brooks did offer improvement from the erratic Dragic, posting better FG%, 3-pt%, FT%, points per 36 minutes and assists per 36 minutes, in addition to better on-court/off-court numbers.

Brooks had this to say to Hoops World about his time with Phoenix (full story can be found here):

"All of the guys there are cool, but it was awkward for me because I've never been in that position," Brooks said. "I've never switched teams in the middle of the season, but they did a good job of making me feel comfortable while I was there. It was just different being thrown into a situation like that."

He also expressed interest in and expectation of returning to Phoenix when NBA basketball resumes after the lockout:

"All signs point to me going back to Phoenix," Brooks said. "I had a good time. I like the organization and it's a great city. I would love to continue playing in Phoenix. I would love to stay with this team."

And this Suns fan would love to have you back, Aaron. Just don't demand too big of a contract, OK?


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