PHOENIX — Here are a few pre-game notes and quotes an hour before game time courtesy of Suns head coach Alvin Gentry:
- On the Memphis Grizzlies: “They’re a heck of a lot different team than we played five weeks ago. They’ve got good young talent, they play extremely hard, they’re well-coached. You have to play well to beat them, they don’t beat themselves.”
- Gentry raved about Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins and the job he has done since the Grizzlies’ 1-8 start to the season. He also commented on how well he handled the Allen Iverson situation earlier at the start of the season. “He’s done a great job of making those guys believe in themselves. I think (not guaranteeing Iverson a starting spot) was a big thing for him. Guys like (Mike) Conley feel like he really believes in them.”
- The Suns will have their hands full with Zach Randolph, who has averaged 28.2 points and 17.3 rebounds in his last six games. The Suns will start off with Amare Stoudemire on Z-Bo.
- On Randolph: “Zach’s as good as there’s ever been as far as offensive rebounding. He’s playing great basketball. You know he was supposed to be this bad guy, I have not heard one thing about him and everybody raves about him (in Memphis). … He’s so efficient at what he does. Not a lot of wasted energy. He’s not a tremendous athlete or anything like that, he’s just a real smart guy that knows angles and is very good at getting his shot off against bigger guys.”
- The Suns may play some zone tonight, as the Grizz are not a huge threat from beyond the arc, having hit just 31.1 percent of their mere 350 attempts on the season. In fact the Suns, who have knocked down 42.0 percent of their 750 attempts, have nailed 206 more long balls than Memphis has. But Gentry only expects to use the zone in spurts if at all as he doesn’t like how it hinders his team on the glass. “I don’t like the rebounding of it. I don’t think you can rebound out of it. To me, it’s hard to protect the lane area out of it because you’re always trying to clear yourself and cleanse yourself so you’re not going to get a three seconds. You can do it, and it’s been very effective for us in certain situations, but I don’t think it’s something that you can do over an extended period of time in the game.”