He might be balding but he's no shrinking violet.

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He might be balding but he's no shrinking violet.

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One thing we can say for sure about Marcin Gortat, he's not afraid to speak his mind. After Wednesday night's drubbing at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers, Gortat ripped into his new team for one of the worst defensive performances we've seen out of the NBA's worst defensive team. 

When a player, especially a player who's new to the team, speaks up like this, it can go two ways. The rest of the team can see his words as a wake-up call and react in a positive way. Or he can create division in the locker room with guys pointing fingers and resenting the "new guy" for speaking out of school. We'll see what happens next.

Take it away, Marcin:

"I came from a team where everybody was competing and trying to do what the coach told you. We just totally changed our rotations and what we said before the game. We were not playing hard enough and we have a lot of work in front of us."

Straight forward enough start to things. He puts the blame on the team for not following the game plan and states the obvious about having a lot of work to do. But then he goes further.

"I think we need to be in the gym everyday for three hours, learn the rotations and everything from the beginning. There are so many things we are doing bad and I can't find an explanation."

Now Marcin is suggesting that the way the Suns go about their business is part of the problem and here he gets into potentially dangerous territory.

"I'm trying to get some rebounds and stops, but unfortunately there is not too many opportunities to rebound because the 76ers are scoring 120-something points. It is just frustrating. It is frustrating as hell; I'm not going to lie. It is a reality check for me, going from a team who is winning to a team who is losing and we are the worst defensive team in the league."

So the lack of defensive rebounding is a result of giving up too many points, which has a certain logic to it except the 76ers still had 12 offensive rebounds and 18 second chance points. The comment about going from a winning team to a losing team is refreshingly candid, but potentially decisive. It's not like the Suns are the 76ers, who haven't had playoff success in years.

"We have to be more serious about everything we do. When you pass through that door up front over there, this is time when you pack it in and are getting ready for the game or the practice. We got to read the scouting report, which guy likes to do what and learn it. It's a lot of work."

And now he specifically calls out his teammates for lack of preparation and attacks the very culture of the Phoenix Suns. This isn't a team used to wearing their game face all the time. This is a team who wants to play loose and have a positive, upbeat attitude. 

Good stuff from Marcin. Should be interesting to see where this goes from here.


Here's a little diddy about the offensive side of things which has some issues as well.


Phoenix Suns Offensive System Depends On One Man, Channing Frye - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
That, my friends, is why Channing Frye is the key to the entire Suns offense. He's the guy that starts the engine.


Oh, and...

Happy New Year!

Was Gortat right to say what he said?

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PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns have played some awful defensive games over the years, but Wednesday’s 123-110 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers does not have many rivals in futility. This was a Sixers...

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This is on you, Alvin. Get it right.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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This is on you, Alvin. Get it right. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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I'm gonna call a mulligan on this one, folks. I got nothing positive to say about this game, hardly even about this team.

Somehow, the Suns make other teams look good on a nightly basis. And the more defensive players the Suns add to the roster, the worse their defense gets.

Dragic, Pietrus, Childress, Dudley, Hill, Lopez and Gortat. Even Carter and Frye, to an extent. The only defensive black holes are Nash (who has proven he can be "hidden" in a good scheme) and Warrick. Two. That's it. Two guys who have never been good, individually, at defense. And yet, they are getting worse?

Oh, and I'm not sure this has EVER happened before: Suns had 11 defensive rebounds. Sixers had 12 offensive rebounds. Sixers pulled down more of their own missed shots than the Suns did, despite the disadvantage inherent in positioning each Suns player closer to the basket when the shot goes up.


Wil Cantrell will be adding locker room quotes and nuggets from the game.

[Note by Wil Cantrell, 12/29/10 10:30 PM MST ]

Not a very nice locker room scene as you would expect. Gentry was over 15 minutes late to the post game, and virtually all the players I spoke to were frustrated and spoke in very low tones. None was as animated as Marcin Gortat. He was pissed.

Obviously defense is the magic word. The guys though are at a loss. They practice well, they show up at the games and everything goes sideways.

Check it out:

Marcin Gortat

Gentry Post Game

Vince Carter

Jared Dudley

Steve Nash

Grant Hill




  • Vince already a fan favorite. misses first shot a turnaround fadeaway that no one on this planet could make
  • Nash very active 
  • Carter battles for first hoop. Crowd goes wild.
  • Nash behind the back to Lopez-nice touch from Lopez from 15 ft or less.
  • ANother Nash to Lopez for the dunk
  • Elton Brand afraid to dunk the ball or what? 
  • Douchie 76ers fan behind me. Would you be so boisterous if you were a fan of one of the worst NBA teams on the planet?
  • Nash talking to Carter during Ft's....Carter nodding a whol elot. Hope the chemistry works. 
  • Carter sets nice pick leading to Nash 3
  • Amazing how quick Grant gets out on the break.
  • Suns not playing too bad on offense, but they still arent defending anything.
  • Vince brings the house down with ally oop from Grant Hill
  • Marcin Gortat is very big. 
  • Ref screaming at Gentry and vice versa. I can hear the ref from halfway up
  • Suns cheerleaders video about working on the glutes...This dancer's on the jumbo tron doing these lunges. It's not fair.
  • Hill Dudz and Pietrus in the game at the same time. 
  • Goran Dragic dribbling exhibition as the 1st ends....His confidence is gone, he's so lost.


  • Carter back in with Dudz, Gortat, Pietrus, Dragon 
  • Dragon 3 fouls...10.30 left in 2nd
  • Nash returning so early does not bode well.
  • How many  and 1's have their been?
  • Sixers not afraid to attack suns D. Who is afraid?
  • The Suns dancers should be illegal. And as dancers they arent even very good. Guess I'm a heterosexual.
  • Suns allowing sixers to shoot over 60%. with 6 and change left in the 2nd. 
  • Holliday gets by Nash and Gortat backs up WTF?
  • Nash to Gortat on O looks promising
  • Some of these offensive possessions are painful to watch
  • Suns D has no clue what they are doing. Rotations all screwed Up. They meet like a college team during a a break in the action to figure out the rotations. Yeah it'll take time.
  • Tweet machine blowing up that WarMachine and Chill are out of the rotation..>Here's WM with a monster jam. Suns
  • Pietrus leaves his man to help on Nocioni for no reason, leaving Turner wide open for the J....Bad and unecessary
  • 5 76ers in double figures at the half....blah blah blah.


  • Vince 2 straight hoops
  • trying to post up VC, nothings falling for him. Suns D slightly tightening up
  • An actual sequence of scrappy suns D, Hill goes to the floor, Suns regain the ball.
  • Please tell me this isnt goin going to be a Suns/Sixers nail bighter-at home.
  • Steve Nash has played 29 out of a possible 32 minutes
  • These officials are really having a hard time...Both teams are pissed.
  • Warrick with a fallaway brick that ends up in Philly fast break and one.
  • Suns down 6 after sixers offensive rebound and putback. the rebound bounced twice before anyone picked it up.
  • Dragic now forcing everything, trying to be more aggressive. Sam result, no points.


  • Warrick has earl Clrk disease...Stop shooting jumpers
  • Dragic clank
  • Offesnsive rebound after offensive rebound
  • This team has a lot of talent, but they just aren't good right now. Leads to frustration based on expectations. But man you gotta defend your home court...>Gentry mentioned one of the most disappointing things of this season thus far is how they've played at home. I'd say this is ridiculous, but...The Suns arent that good. Plain and Simple.
  • Suns down 9 cant score, cant defend.
  • Confusion/Chemistry? effort? What is it? Sarver courtside to witness this atrocity.
  • Nash T, desperately trying to get tossed.
  • 114-107 2 mts left.  Turner 3 ices this 117-107 1.42 left.

Suns a Defensive SIeve...SB Nation


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PHOENIX — The Vince Carter era is upon us, as Alvin Gentry announced an hour before game time that Carter will not only play tonight but also start. The Suns gave thought to getting him...

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