Here's the tweet from Shaun Powell:
There's no denying the Suns are a "team in a tailspin" but would they go so far as to completely bench Beasley and ice him out of all playing time? The guy had one nice game off the bench and one not good game off the bench. That's not exactly a good sample size.
As for being "toxic", that doesn't exactly ring true unless there's a lot of dissatisfaction from his teammates about Michael's shot selection, low efficiency and porous defense. Those things aren't important, right?
Could he be traded at this point? Who would take him and why?
Then again, "major shakeup" could mean something else entirely like a change in the coaching staff or front office. It's not like Lance Blanks is getting a lot of support right now either (see this tweet from Ced Ceballos).
Then again (again), this is one tweet from a guy with no history about breaking Suns news.
We'll just have to wait and see how this plays out, but in the mean time, the Powell tweet generated plenty of sarcasm and derision towards the Suns front office as evidenced by this comment from ESPN's Zach Lowe.
Breaking news: "Suns realize Michael Beasley is actually Michael Beasley."— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) December 10, 2012
Poor Marcin. He's not getting the touches and looks that he wants. He's getting benched in favor of Jermaine O'Neal and he's not happy about anything right now including his own level of play.
At least in this interview he focuses a bit more on himself but he's also clearly been instructed to watch his mouth which was also evident after Sunday's loss to the Magic when he dropped a "no comment, next question" when our own David King tried to ask him how he felt about the rotations and minutes he was getting.
Here's an idea, Marcin: man the f%ck up.
We know how you are when things are going well. Show us what kind of leader you can be when things aren't going your way. Play hard on every possession regardless of how many times your number gets called and good things will happen, fans and coaches will respect you more, and just maybe your team might win a game.
Here's the interview as transcribed by Adam (thanks, Adam!):
Przeglad Sportowy's Marcin Harasimowicz is at it again, interviewing Marcin Gortat and letting him voice another batch of concerns.
Here's the interview, from after the Clippers game on Saturday. (link to the original: http://nba.przegladsportowy.
Marcin Gortat: That's true. 6 losses and it doesn't seem like we're going to break this streak in the next game. This is a tough moment, not only for the team, but also for myself, for my career. I'm going through tough moments. It's situations like these where you have to show mental strength and think about what we can change. I need to train hard every day and hope for the best.
How would you explain the teams streaky play this season? For three quarters you were neck in neck with a top-notch team in the NBA, the Clippers, only to waste it in three or four minutes.
MG: Unfortunately, there are some "black holes" in our games that are hard to logically explain. There are moments in which it feels like somebody turned off the power. As if someone pulled the plug. We compete, we fight, we try, and then suddenly they go up a dozen points and we either mount a comeback, or it's too late.
Coach Gentry admitted that he's still looking for an optimal lineup, and he himself doesn't quite know how to use certain players. Your team is really going through a lot of changes all the time. Is Gentry looking for a perfect balance?*
MG: Maybe, I can't really say anything about that.
MG: It's mostly because various players play different roles and have different playing time in every game. The team isn't crystallized. It doesn't have everyone knowing his role. Nobody's really sure how many minutes he'll spend on the court, whether he even gets a shot. We're still at the point of finding our strong suits.
How can you correct this?
MG: First and foremost - by practice. We can talk about how much (shots? playing time? t/n), and what we want in the locker room before and after games, but it isn't working so far. Only hard work in practice will let us eliminate our mistakes and fix our play.
You mentioned that you are going through some hard times? How do you plan on breaking through this crisis?
MG: Talking to the people that are close to me, that helped me built my career, or were close to me when I was growing as a basketball player. I'm capable of showing a high level. I have no other choice, but to look for a place to me in the team and fight for what's mine. It's really hard this season, though. This is an important mental test for me. I need to stay strong and focus on basketball. I can't be discouraged by things that happen in my team. It's not easy. This is the first time I'm in a situation like this in my career. Physically, I feel well. Maybe my aggressiveness has faded, but you know why? Because in one game, I play well, and in the next, I don't, while in the third one, I don't play at all, and in the fourth, I'm suddenly getting a bunch of passes. There's no consistency. I think that might be affecting me.
In the game against the Trail Blazers, you've shown that you can play a big role in the Suns offence.
MG: First of all, I believe I'm a good basketball player. I showed and confirmed that many times already. I don't need to argue with anyone about it, or repeat it ad nauseam. I know my worth. I believe in myself, but at the same time, I'm waiting for a chance. I don't give up, if I did, I wouldn't be myself.
*Please note that the first part of this question is formatted into Gortat's answer in the Polish version, but is, in fact a part of the question (note the "your team" line)
To a man, the players and coaches are getting really tired of losing. But the problem is that none of them know exactly how to fix it. None of them has the magic bullet to playing better and winning games.
"I don't know," Luis Scola said once again to a throng of reporters after the game, his response as honest as it can be to the media. He was not angry or defensive or evasive. He was, and always is, open and forthcoming and willing to talk to the media after every game. He apologizes for not having better answers.
"We don't have a day off anymore," he said about Monday's off day after the back-to-back. By his tone, you could tell he was grasping at straws. "We need to practice. It's not going to happen by talking. I think a lot about it, I just don't know."
After we left him alone, he just sat there in his shorts at least ten more minutes. He didn't go take a shower or talk to any other players. He just sat there, staring at the floor. After being claimed off amnesty waivers this summer, Scola is beholden to the Suns for a full year. There's no point asking for a trade - the Suns couldn't accommodate him even if they wanted to. He's got to stick it out for the full season, good or bad.
Marcin Gortat is handling his frustration a different way. In stark contrast to Scola's candor, Gortat refused to answer any pointed questions: "No comment. Next question."
Alvin Gentry's biggest frustrations are twofold: (1) players are not staying within the system and (2) players are not playing hard enough.
They are not finishing plays the way they are designed. Instead, they are short circuiting plays the moment they have a clean shot at the basket no matter how far away or how difficult the shot.
"We are not doing a very good job of making basketball plays," Alvin Gentry said after the Suns loss to Orlando on Sunday night. "Cuts, shot selection, things like that."
But an even bigger problem is the lack of consistent effort being put out by the guys on the floor. Fans see it. Players see it too. Gentry knows it, and he does all he can to stop himself from throwing players under the bus. He goes out of his way to compliment the hard workers, to highlight their efforts in contrast to others who go unnamed.
"I think he played extremely hard," Gentry said of Sebastian Telfair, starting in place of Goran Dragic due to the flu. "I never have a problem with him. I know he gives you everything that he can give.
"We have got to have 12 guys that are doing that - not four or five."
Gentry has periodically praised - by name - the consistent efforts of Dragic, Telfair, Scola, P.J. Tucker and Jermaine O'Neal. I expect you can count those five guys as examples of how to play the game, as far as Gentry is concerned.
Consistency is lacking from the rest of the guys. Morris, Brown and Dudley are usually there, but sometimes they disappear and often it ebbs and flows right in the middle of a game. Marcin Gortat and Michael Beasley, on the other hand, are usually invisible, only occasionally showing flashes of necessary all-out effort.
Yet Gortat and Beez are two of the most talented guys on the team, while the all-effort guys are some of the least-talented. Hence Gentry's big dilemma.
You can't win games without talent and effort. In the end, you need some guys who have a lot of both.
But the Suns don't have any of those, so Gentry has to cobble together different lineups until one or two of them click. Everyone knows that isn't the panacea though. Varying rotations cause confusion and hurt preparation.
"Usually when you know your role," Dudley said after the game. "Know when you're coming in, that's a confidence builder. Stick with it, know what you're going to do."
But he acknowledges freely that Gentry can't do that when the players are inconsistent. Gentry has to know what they are going to provide when they step on the court, has to be able to count on that.
"It's a tough job for Alvin."
Orlando Magic are a stark contrast to the Suns, in terms of execution at least on Sunday night. They don't have a go-to scorer either, and are even younger than the Suns. But they know their roles better than these Suns do, and they accept them with open arms.
Count Jared Dudley as one who was impressed.
"Their bigs are setting screens for JJ, they know Big Baby's getting the ball in the post, they know Jameer is running the show," he said, in explanation of the difference between the Suns and the Magic. "They have a shorter rotation. They are a little bit tighter with their rotations. They just know that their bigs don't do too much. They just know it.
"Right now we have a lot of guys who can score. So our point is identifying roles and that happens throughout the course of the season."
He tried to explain the difference between specific roles and fluid roles, and how that can make life more predictable and hence less stressful.
"It could be [that their roles are more defined] or it could be individuals saying ‘hey that's not my game'," he continued. "Like Channing is just a shooter. Channing's not going down to the post. We have guys that are more versatile, like Markieff who can go outside or inside where he can score different ways, where they have certain guys who just have set skills and they run plays to that."
Orlando has won only 8 games this season to the Suns' 7, so let's not hold up the Orlando model as gold quite yet. All Jared was trying to do was point out that, if guys are willing to accept specific roles then Alvin's job gets easier and maybe they can win more games.
Of course, if the Suns had specific roles and still lost seven straight, the rherotic would be that they need more freedom to exploit different matchups and to use some of their skills better.
As I said above, no one knows exactly what will make this team better.
They just know that, right now, it looks like a long season ahead.