Channing Frye: ‘There’s no confidence problems, no mental problems’

Posted by on May 21st, 8:16 pm

PHOENIX — Despite facing an 0-2 deficit, the Phoenix Suns haven’t been all that bad offensively against the Los Angeles Lakers through two games of the Western Conference Finals  – with the exception of Channing Frye that is.

After watching the three-point specialist struggle through 1-of-13 shooting thus far, it’s hard to believe that he is the same player that drilled 172 treys during the regular season. The Lakers have done an excellent job chasing Frye from the three-point line and keeping him from becoming the X-factor that he has the potential to be.

He looks nothing like the player who showed off his confident stroke during the regular season, as he often appears to be thinking out on the basketball court rather than just playing. And that lack of confidence has certainly showed in his game.

After Friday’s practice Frye said, “I saw the film and there’s no confidence problems, there’s no mental problems, there’s no nothing. You just had two bad games.”

With a positive attitude looking forward to Sunday’s game, it’s easy to say that it isn’t mental. But when you’re so used to getting open look after open look and knocking it down with regularity, if that completely changes it has to affect your psyche. Frye did admit that he hasn’t been himself lately on the court, often worrying about the importance of each three he has hoisted rather than just shooting.

“I was trying to be something I wasn’t and that was being serious, you know, ‘Oh gosh, I’ve got to make this shot,’ instead of just letting it fly like I usually do,” Frye said.

He said that after watching the film, his shot looked good. But it was clear that he was hesitant to fire in Game 2, which resulted in 0-of-5 shooting and a season-low nine minutes. Even the shots that he did take he would show a brief pump fake before or wait an extra second prior to firing.

“Sometimes the ball just doesn’t feel right in my hands,” he said. “Sometimes the ball just doesn’t come clean in your hands and other times with their length I’m trying to read the defense and what they’re giving up and through that process it’s just something that I had to look and figure out.”

Frye has essentially hurt the Suns more than helped them through two games. The only value he really brings to the court is his shooting, and when that’s ineffective it’s hard to find a reason to put him on the court. But despite his recent struggles, head coach Alvin Gentry still has confidence in Frye’s shooting ability — as long as he believes in himself that is.

“If he has an open shot then he’s got to step in and shoot it,” Gentry said. “I could care less. If he shoots it and he thinks its going in than that’s all I want to have happen. Other than that, that’s the only adjustment that needs to be made.”

Sounds like a confidence issue to me. But if there is one place where Frye can regain that confidence it is in the friendly confines of US Airways Center, where he shot 47.3 percent from three during the regular season, as opposed to 40.2 percent on the road during the regular season.

The support of Planet Orange should only help the slumping shooter, but Frye was adamant that the added pressure of playing on a bigger stage in Los Angeles of all places had no impact on his game.

“Oh I don’t care about no bright lights man, you’re talking to the wrong person,” Frye said adamantly. “I don’t care about none of that. All that bright lights crap is nothing.”

Frye and the entire Suns team knows that he has been flat-out awful through two games. But the 6-foot-11 sharpshooter sounded confident after today’s practice and seemed like he knew exactly what he needed to do on the court to potentially change the complexion of the series for the Suns — relax.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself because I feel like I’m a big part of this team,” he said. “Instead of trying to win every game on every single shot, I just need to come out here and play.”

Mike Schmitz

Mike Schmitz is a former ValleyoftheSuns writer who now works as an assistant video coordinator for the D-League\\’s Bakersfield Jam. He specialized in video breakdowns for VotS.

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Tags: Channing Frye · Los Angeles Lakers · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns News · Playoffs · Three-Pointers

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 LakeShowForLife // May 21, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Yeah, the problems aren’t psychological or mental. They go deeper than that. You guys just FLAT-OUT SUCK.

    You’ve played so poorly, your defense has been so god-awful (although I should have expected that – you are the Suns!) that you have become an embarrassment to the league.

    You are beyond redemption. There are no solutions; there are only ways to delay the inevitable, crushing defeat.

    We’ve got bigger and better things to do. We want to get our revenge on the Celtics and get our 16th title. You guys can go back to Phoenix and enjoy your long, distinguished history of choke upon choke.

  • 2 Joshua // May 21, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Ouch.

    Listen, Lakeshow…I won’t pretend I didn’t chuckle reading that. After all, as a fellow die hard Laker fan, I’m quite enjoying seeing the Suns get crushed. Nevertheless, this kind of gloating and just FLAT-OUT RUDE commenting makes all of us look bad. So please lay off. The last thing we need is a karmic lesson in humility at the hands of the Celtics because a bunch of Laker fans over-estimated the teams greatness (which is precisely what happened in 08). It’s not over until it’s over and though I, like you, am quite optimistic of the Lakers’ chance to win this and then handle the Celtics…let’s not put the cart before the horse and more importantly, let’s not disrespect our opponents. No need to be a jerk.

  • 3 OhYeahButter // May 22, 2010 at 11:38 am

    *stares at Lakeshows comment*

    Wow.

    *shakes head*

  • 4 Mel. // May 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Aaaand once again, we can show and prove that there's anything more pathetic in the human character than a guy who apparently uses his local sports team as a coping mechanism for everything he's apparently lacking in life.

    Yes, kids. We all love our teams. But pretending that their success somehow hinges on our "OMGZERZ TOO XTREME TRASH TALKING OF THOSE OTHER GUYZ" is pretty damn pathological. Spare yourself the embarrassment of doing this stuff in public, and stick with the classy approach… like slapping a sticker with Calvin peeing on the Celtics logo on your SUV, or something.

  • 5 lakeshow // May 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    I think the thing he said right was that he needed to play D and get rebounds. He has also been in foul trouble and that is always hard on shooters – it gets them out of their rhythm.

  • 6 Burt Darkside // May 22, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Lake show…..I’m sure you have a tiny weeny pipi…..

  • 7 Burt Darkside // May 22, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    and can’t get it up….but your a d.i.c.k. head anyway…..fried brain probably

  • 8 What Ladies Can Learn about Men from the NBA Playoffs | Clutch Magazine: The Digital Magazine for the Young, Contemporary Woman of Color // Jun 3, 2010 at 9:14 am

    [...] one goes out to the entire Orlando Magic team but also to Channing Frye and Mo Williams.  There is no story to tell here.  Just that in high pressure situations, these [...]

  • 9 What Ladies Can Learn about Men from the NBA Playoffs | Entertainment News & Gossips // Jun 4, 2010 at 11:24 am

    [...] one goes out to the entire Orlando Magic team but also to Channing Frye and Mo Williams.  There is no story to tell here.  Just that in high pressure situations, these [...]

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