Previous week’s games
12/26/2010 Clippers 108, SUNS 103
12/29/2010 76ers 123, SUNS 110
Upcoming week’s games
12/31/2010 SUNS vs Pistons, 7 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
01/02/2010 SUNS @ Kings, 7 p.m., My45
01/05/2010 SUNS vs Lakers, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
“I think we need to be in the gym every day for three hours, learn the rotations and everything from the beginning. There are so many things we are doing bad and I can’t find an explanation.”
This is what new Suns center Marcin Gortat had for his new teammates after Wednesday night’s embarrassing loss to the Philadelphia 76ers at US Airways Center. He didn’t stop there, though.
“I’m trying to get some rebounds and stops, but unfortunately there is not too many opportunities to rebound because the 76ers are scoring 120-something points. It is just frustrating. It is frustrating as hell; I’m not going to lie. It is a reality check for me, going from a team who is winning to a team who is losing, and we are the worst defensive team in the league.”
Clearly, the Polish Hammer isn’t too happy with how things have gone in his first three games on Planet Orange, and he shouldn’t be. The loss to the Heat is understandable. Losses to lowly teams like the Clippers and 76ers aren’t.
Things need to change and they need to change quickly and it must start on the defensive end. Offense isn’t a problem. Some were concerned the Suns’ scoring would take a big hit with the loss of Jason Richardson, but others have picked up the slack. What is so concerning is how much worse the defense has become.
I realize the team needs time to build chemistry with the new guys on board, but lack of chemistry is no excuse for lack of effort. Allowing 123 points to a Philadelphia team playing without its centerpiece, Andre Igoudala, just can’t happen. (Hell, it can’t happen with Iggy).
Despite the Suns’ defense being absolute garbage (and that’s putting it nicely), the Suns are fortunately still right in the thick of things in the playoff hunt. With 50 games to go, the Suns are a mere two-and-a-half games back of eighth-seeded Portland. There’s plenty of time to turn things around.
Gortat said what needed to be said. He was brought here to help on the defensive end, and he’s quickly making it known that he’s not happy with things thus far. Hopefully, this will be the boost the Suns need. When a player, especially a new guy, rips his teammates, it can go one of two ways: the players respond positively, or they block him out and keep him on the outside.
I can’t imagine these Suns players responding negatively. The Suns get their first crack and righting the ship tonight against the Pistons. If all goes well, the Hammer won’t have to come down again.