Some thoughts from Hedo and Nash about the transition and how long it might take for him to "get it".
More photos » Francis Specker - AP
Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash, right, shoots over Dallas Mavericks' Shawn Marion during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game in Indian Wells, Calif., on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010.(AP Photo/Francis Specker)
The fickle fans of a sports team. Get blown out by 51 points in a preseason game and the sky is falling. Beat a Mavericks team without their two best offensive player (and one of the best shooters the in the game) and all is right with the world.
Fortunately, the Phoenix Suns don't subscribe to that roller coaster approach to the (pre)season.
"I think we needed, not really a win -- to me I think we've got much bigger fish to fry than win a preseason game -- but I think we had to make steps in the right direction. I thought we made steps in the right direction, to me that was the biggest thing," Coach Gentry said.
One step in the right direction was not turning the ball over 32 times (as the Suns did against Toronto). In fact, the Suns only coughed it up 12 times while the improved Suns defense generated 22 Maverick fumbles.
Jason Richardson wasn't going to play in this game but said he felt fine and the doctors told him he couldn't do any additional damage by playing. We joked with him about wanting to represent his Michigan State Spartans on the same day they beat rival Michigan but he laughed that off and showed what kind of competitor he is.
"They said the worst I could do was agitate (my shoulder) a little bit. I was willing to take that risk because we have to get our chemistry going. The stars have to be on the floor, that's why we played a lot tonight. We've got to get used to playing with each other," Jason said, adding that he didn't hurt himself further in the game.
The unit Gentry had on the floor to finish the game didn't execute according to Gentry. He was OK with missed shots and understood that he had guys playing out of position but he was still looking for the Atkins, Janning, Dowdell, Clark, Lawal lineup to be in the right place and execute properly. They didn't.
Phoenix Suns Down Dallas Mavericks In Indian Wells Outdoor Game, 98-90 - SB Nation Arizona
It should go without saying, that defending the Mavericks without Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry is a much easier task, but credit is still due the second unit who showed a glimpse of being the kind of lock-down group their potential suggests.
Post game audio:
Indian Wells pregame
Game Thread roll call:
Roll Call: suns champ, Jaxis, SunKing, AcucracK, East Bay Ray, Eutychus, rsavaj, KSJ49, Omaha Sun, phxuk: Ap, Bkj, SUNS PORTUGAL, Seth Pollack, Beavis 25, suns68, sonicking, Migonads, Turambar, The Solution, yanyanman2, dbacks25, Scott Howard, Diego Queiroz, PanamaSun, 8472species, hcblankscreen, vincent enrique, EricSun89, troglodytes, Lemmings, N8lol, Chafid, Dragic_is_Magic, 7footer
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It won't be a full moon, so the werewolves should be mere mortals tonight. Lets hope that doesn't stop the Suns from taking a bit outta that Maverick ass. Am I right?
Gentry confirmed that J-Rich won't play but he is listed on the official starting lineup thing they hand out. Gamesmanship or preseason whogivesaheckmanship?
I vote the later.
AG did say that Jared would likely get the start but he hadn't decided for sure as of an hour before tip when he talked to us.
The Mavs are without both Dirk and The Jet. Acting Mavs coach Dwane Casey said that Tyson Chandler will get the start instead of Brendan Haywood just to see some different looks. Without Terry or Beaubois (broke foot), Barea will get a lot of time running point.
Gentry repeated what he said yesterday about being concerned with the high turnovers in the first two games and poor defense. While he was willing to excuse some of the turnovers as "getting to know each other" adjustment, he said there were far too many "unforced errors".
As for the Toronto disaster, AG said he didn't take too much from that, calling it a throw-away game.
When I first got here and the Suns was shining on the court it was pretty warm. Now with the Sun down behind the lip of the arena it's just warm. No wind at court level but that tends to pick up as it gets later...or so I am told.
Dirk is on the court shooting around even though he's not playing. His hair is longer than it's been and he's got a nice head band thing going. I have spent a lot of time with my 4-year-old daughter working on putting on a headband correctly so I notice these things.