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Alvin Gentry lets his bench know Steve Nash needs some rest

Nov 26, 2010, 6:00 PM EST

Chicago Bulls v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

Hello Goran Dragic. We’re looking right at you.

Steve Nash has averaged 34.8 minutes per game this season, which is up two minutes a game from last season. The man is 36, has groin and foot soreness this season, and has been battling a bad back since, roughly, 1978. Nash needs to be playing fewer minutes, not more. Not 49, like he did in the double OT game against the Bulls Wednesday.

Coach Alvin Gentry knows that but said he’s had no choice, as reported by the Arizona Republic.

“(Dragic) didn’t play very good and, as a result of that, I have to play Steve too many minutes,” Gentry said. “Forty-nine minutes for Steve is too damn many. Then I got another guy out there (Hill) who plays 46 minutes and should be playing about 30 in a double-overtime game. So we’ve got to get the bench playing well again.”

“It’s not fair to him,” forward Grant Hill said of Nash. “Dealing with the (groin) thing, and his foot’s hurting him. He gave it all he had out there and did a good job. When we don’t go to him, we’ve got to be a little sharper with execution.”

Dragic seemed to take a step forward late last season and into the playoffs, but so far this season he has been average. Not good enough when you have Steve Nash as your other option. But at some point Gentry needs to go to Dragic or get someone to step up, because the Suns will need Nash come the playoffs and if he has to play this many minutes the Nash that is left in late April will be a shadow of the one that is playing so well right now.

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