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Gentry says changes coming to Suns starting lineup

Nov 18, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

Denver Nuggets v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

The fact that the Suns lost to the Miami Heat on Saturday, even with Dwyane Wade out due to injury and LeBron James playing through illness, wasn’t by itself cause for concern. But the way the team started, flat once again and failing to score in the game’s first 4:14 on the way to a 9-0 deficit, has head coach Alvin Gentry thinking about making some changes.

Phoenix has been a scrappy team that has fought its way back from large deficits the entire season, but it’s obviously difficult to win games when you have to expend so much energy digging yourself out of double-digit holes.

After seeing his team fall behind early and often in just about every one of the Suns’ first 11 games, Gentry says he’ll be making some lineup changes to try to stop that trend.

From SBNation Arizona:

“We got to stop having the starts we’re having and the only way we can deal with that is that we are going to have to change the line-ups,” Gentry said. “So the next game we play it won’t be the same line-up that you’ve seen. I haven’t decided exactly what I am going to do there, but we’ll do something. We’ll do something.”

As for what that something will be, Gentry has a couple of options.

Luis Scola has been inconsistent defensively, and while his offense has come and gone, his spacing on that end of the floor has hindered the team’s effort there rather than helped it.  Jermaine O’Neal might be an option, as would Markieff Morris, who has started to play better recently but has also been inconsistent himself.

A more likely switch could involve shooting guard Jared Dudley, who has yet to find his role with the starters this season with the offense being run through Michael Beasley. Dudley has been solid in the games where the shot attempts were there, so maybe playing with the second unit and being featured a bit more might help him contribute more consistently.

Shannon Brown has provided a consistent offensive spark playing with the reserves, so plugging him in with the starters might give them a little bit more firepower and help the team get away from those painfully slow starts.

Beasley’s position in the rotation isn’t likely to be tinkered with, given the fact that he’s been placed in a primary scoring role and plays somewhat heavy minutes with a combination of personnel. It’s probably best to continue to work with him and hope he finds a measure of consistency rather than dropping him to the second unit.

But at this point in the young season, with winnable games having become losses and the team sitting at 4-7 in the standings, Gentry will have to consider all of his options.

  1. gatordontplay - Nov 18, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Starting Kendall Marshall would be a good start to changing things up there

    • sunsbolts7 - Nov 18, 2012 at 5:07 PM

      Ya? That makes absolutely no sense. He’s the 3rd best pg on the team. And Dragic is by far, the best. Bassy has been consistent coming off the bench.

  2. aarondommin - Nov 18, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Jared Dudley’s best play has always been off the bench so moving him to the bench and starting Shanon Brown makes the most logical sense. Shanon brown will bring some athleticism and energy to the starters and Dudley should be a spark off the bench as he brings energy, and in the past a 3 point threat.

  3. observingii - Nov 18, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    If Beasley is the key to the offense, perhaps the Suns should just start over.

  4. sunsbolts7 - Nov 18, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    I personally think they should remove Duds and start Brown. He played good as a starter at the end of last season.

    But I wouldn’t be surprised if Gentry chooses to try to starting PJ Tucker. He always brings him in for an energy boost when the team play is rather stagnant.

    Regardless of who it is, DUDley is definitely going to the bench. Mediocre defense and only 8ppg from your starting 2-guard is just ridiculous.

  5. sunsation3413 - Nov 18, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    No matter who the starting five are this team is just not that good. Why do you want to keep a team in the land of mediocrity? Is being an eight seed in the playoffs a true desire to win. All this years team represents is Sarver and Babbys ridiculous attempt at keeping season ticket holders. The whole team is made up of good/ok players that aren’t going anywhere. If the Suns truly are committed to winning they would blow it all up, be a bottom feeder and build through the draft ala Cleveland or New Orleans. They at least have hope for a future. This kind of team has none.

  6. delusionalcardsfan - Nov 18, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Start Brown over Dudley and let Beasley get comfortable. Dudley has seemed to do really well from the bench.

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