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Steve Nash preaches patience as Suns work to correct issues

Dec 24, 2011, 1:46 AM EDT

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The Suns dropped their final preseason game on Thursday, and unfortunately for them, the result was a familiar one. The Nuggets cruised to a second straight blowout victory over Phoenix, but this one was far more humbling for the Suns, considering that Nene, Al Harrington, and Ty Lawson all sat this one out due to minor injury concerns.

That meant that the 110-85 final came in a game where Danilo Gallinari, Kosta Koufos, Corey Brewer, and DeMarre Carroll were the ones doing the damage offensively for Denver. And, the Nuggets were able to consistently get easy baskets at the rim to the tune of 54 points in the paint.

Things don’t look great for the Suns heading into the regular season. Besides the defensive concerns — which the team is attempting to address with the help of new assistant coach Elston Turner — Phoenix is without a reliable go-to scorer, which means more work for Steve Nash to do to create offensively, and more pressure on his teammates to convert those opportunities when they are presented.

Nash remains optimistic, however, and reminded us that with the shortened training camp, the lack of results to this point should be somewhat expected.

“We can’t get down, we’ve only been working for 12 days now,” Nash said after Thursday night’s loss. “We’re trying to incorporate some new guys and trying to figure things out.”

The new guys are Ronnie price and Shannon Brown, who seem to have secured the backup point guard and shooting guard positions respectively for now. Sebastian Telfair was also brought in, and will certainly get some opportunity behind Nash at the point guard spot, as well. But Price has outplayed him and has earned those minutes thus far. Rookie Markieff Morris has impressed in his two preseason outings, generally playing well offensively while doing an above-average job on the boards. But being a rookie, he still needs to learn how to defend at the NBA level, as evidenced by the fact that he fouled out of both preseason contests.

The makeup of this Suns team is different than in seasons past, with far less star power that jumps off the page when looking up and down the roster. That doesn’t mean the team can’t find some measure of success, but it will have to come from hard work and execution rather than raw talent.

“We’re not an ultra-talented team,” Nash said. “We’ve got to work hard, we’ve got to play with a fire, and we’ve got to have great cohesion and chemistry, and those are things that take time. We can play hard right away, we can play hard every night, but to find that cohesion to get really effective and efficient at both ends of the floor, it can take time.”

  1. sunsation3413 - Dec 24, 2011 at 1:56 AM

    Suns didnt make the playoffs last year and I don’t see where Price or Telfair or Brown have added much to change that. Seems odd to say but it appears the Suns will struggle to score. God bless Nash but he can’t do it all.

  2. jmclarkent - Dec 24, 2011 at 7:46 AM

    Phoenix is not close to being a contender; I think now is the time to trade Nash and fleece a desperate team. If I were the GM, my goal would be to move anyone over 26 and start planning for the future.

    • raidmagic - Dec 24, 2011 at 8:42 AM

      If they don’t want to spend years rebuilding this is the best option.

  3. phxsuns4lyfe - Dec 26, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    I’m afraid jmclarkent is right…. Poor Nash, let him go, rebuilding is the best thing to do at this point…

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