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Old 09-27-2009, 09:36 AM   #1
DirtBag
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Default Suns okay with flying under the radar

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Suns training camp can sneak up in late September with breath barely caught and elimination wounds still fresh.

Not this time.

The Suns have been dormant publicly for 5 1/2 months. Their first non-playoff season in five years lessened expectations on the outside but increased anticipation on the inside.
The Suns leave Monday for San Diego for a six-day training camp, which starts Tuesday and is followed by a preseason game Oct. 6. Most of the team already has been in town for weeks for voluntary workouts with many arriving in mid-August. They came early out of excitement at a shot for redemption from a rocky, disappointing 46-36 season and knowing that coach Alvin Gentry and the fun-and-gun style were back too.

"Nobody is saying anything about us," Gentry said. "They pick us eighth or ninth in the West. They are only wrong if we prove they're wrong. Our guys are relieved that we are not the team that everyone's saying, 'This is the year we're going to win the championship. This is it.' Then 'Trophy Guy' is running around. Hopefully, our guys can play with a lot less pressure on them."

"Trophy Guy" was a short-lived mascot the Suns unveiled during the 2006-07 season. A man dressed as the NBA championship trophy was said to be looking into moving to Phoenix. Nobody is talking title now after a lottery season but the Suns are not resigned to simply a playoff goal, despite trading Shaquille O'Neal for financial relief and letting Matt Barnes go to Orlando in free agency.

The Suns gave Steve Nash and Grant Hill new deals, added more versatile big men for their system by signing Channing Frye and drafting Earl Clark.

"We really feel like we're competitive with all the teams," Gentry said. "It'd be a huge mistake if we went in not feeling that way."

The Suns just missed the playoffs after a drama-filled year and were eight games back of second-seeded Denver.

After first-year coach Terry Porter's Feb. 15 firing, the Suns averaged 117.7 points under Gentry in the last 31 games. That identity will stick. Gentry wants to improve the defense and rebounding but will embrace uptempo play more than ever.

"That's who we are right now with the personnel we have so that's the way we intend to play," he said. "We have a chance to be a more efficient offensive team. Our goal is to try to run on every possession and be in the attack mode. If you have an open shot, I expect you to shoot it."

Gentry has some of the better shooters, if not the best, at their positions with a starting lineup of Nash, Jason Richardson, Hill, Amaré Stoudemire and likely Frye, whose perimeter touch opens the floor for Nash and Stoudemire. That gives Gentry a more defensive, youthful bench.

Gentry's largest quandary is a comfort. He has depth with 11 Suns who could be deemed rotation players, including Clark.

"We want to establish an identity with that (bench) group," Gentry said. "We have to have a group that has a personality of being defensive-minded but still offensively efficient."

Gentry is charged with improving the defense, despite not getting roster help to do so beyond the potential in Clark. Gentry will focus individually on rotations, on-ball defense and rebounding.

"We're going to try to be proactive," he said. "We're not going to try to be a team that reacts to what an offense is doing. We want to be a team that makes the offense react to us. We'll be a bit more aggressive, not so much that we're playing suicide defense. We'll be more active in screen-and-roll defense."

http://www.azcentral.com/sports/suns...6spt-suns.html
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: Suns okay with flying under the radar

I'm sticking with my team through thick and thin and its good to see the faithful are here in the forums, it makes me feel better that there are people out there who have my back (I'm in London, England so hey lol). It is possible we can stick to our old school style of running and jacking up threes (which made us the best in the West a few years back IMO) and build our defensive skillset up.

While we may not be a dead cert for the title, we can have a breakthrough season if we can stick to our guns and Gentry maintains our high-octane style of play.

Here's one excited fan....
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: Suns okay with flying under the radar

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Originally Posted by phxsuns4life
I'm sticking with my team through thick and thin and its good to see the faithful are here in the forums, it makes me feel better that there are people out there who have my back (I'm in London, England so hey lol). It is possible we can stick to our old school style of running and jacking up threes (which made us the best in the West a few years back IMO) and build our defensive skillset up.

While we may not be a dead cert for the title, we can have a breakthrough season if we can stick to our guns and Gentry maintains our high-octane style of play.

Here's one excited fan....


I hope you guys do go back to that style of play. The Suns were the most exciting team to watch. The problem is that you guys don't play any defense and since defense wins championships you guys will never win one....sorry.
I thought D'Antoni should've let a defensive specialist run the defense while he ran the offense......Gentry is a career failure he is not a guy who will ever get it done.....the Suns should look to hire Avery Johnson when they dump Gentry......then maybe you have a shot.
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: Suns okay with flying under the radar

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Originally Posted by DKLaker
I hope you guys do go back to that style of play. The Suns were the most exciting team to watch. The problem is that you guys don't play any defense and since defense wins championships you guys will never win one....sorry.
I thought D'Antoni should've let a defensive specialist run the defense while he ran the offense......Gentry is a career failure he is not a guy who will ever get it done.....the Suns should look to hire Avery Johnson when they dump Gentry......then maybe you have a shot.

Defense does win championships, but plenty of up-tempo teams have won championships with solid, unspectacular defense. You might even know of one that fits this description, DKLaker.

And do let me know if you reach the highest possible level, world-class, in your career path.. so I can send you a message saying you're a "career failure". C'mon. Let's see what Gentry can do with the Suns this year. I think they win 49-51 games and are the 4-6 seed, and get out of the 1st round.
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