PHOENIX — Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash will miss this afternoon’s game against Orlando with pelvic instability after gutting out the last few games despite being hampered by the injury.
Nash is day by day, as the Suns made the decision that Nash couldn’t go this morning and will go through the same process before tomorrow’s game at Houston although Gentry said he “wouldn’t count on” Nash playing in that one either.
“He’s played in so much pain now,” Gentry said. “The shots that he’s missed and the shots that he’s passed up, anybody that’s seen Steve play over the past seven years knows that he’s hurt. Even some of the passes that he’s made he’s not able to do it because of the pain that he’s still in. It just doesn’t make sense.”
Gentry does not see the logic in having Nash try to “toughen out” another game after dealing with this ailment since the middle of the team’s recent road trip.
Nash went for just seven points and seven assists in Thursday’s blowout loss at the hands of Denver in 27 minutes. The injury can be seen most in Nash’s lack of shot attempts, as Two Time has attempted between four and seven shots in four of his last five games despite averaging 11 for the season.
With Nash out, Aaron Brooks will get the start and receive his first opportunity to shine in major minutes for Phoenix.
Brooks has averaged 7.6 points and 3.7 assists in 15.9 minutes per game in seven games for the Suns. He’s seemed passive at times so perhaps being freed from the shackles of looking over his shoulder for Nash’s return could free him to play like the Most Improved Player who averaged 20 points per game last season. Zabian Dowdell figures to get a few minutes as well.
“The bottom line is that we have to be able to get out on the floor and execute and do what we’re supposed to do,” Gentry said.
Hedo, J-Rich return to Phoenix
Today’s game will be a reunion of sorts with six players facing their former team for the first time since December’s blockbuster trade.
Marcin Gortat gets to face his old sparring partner for the first time and Earl Clark gets to give Phoenix fans another glimpse of his potential, and it also marks the return of Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu to the Valley.
As expected, J-Rich received a handful of cheers while Turkoglu got a few boos but not much of an overall reaction during starting lineup introductions.
“Obviously when you’re playing against a team that traded you it’s a whole different situation where you want to really do well,” Gentry said. “You’ve just got to calm yourself and play. I’m sure J-Rich and Hedo want to play well against us, too. It’s a natural thing.”
Dudley posterizing J-Rich?
Jared Dudley and Jason Richardson engaged in friendly trash talk together from the time they were both traded from Charlotte to Phoenix, and that continued this week with Dudley tweeting his followers to Photoshop a picture of him dunking on Richardson in a video game.
Dudley also jokingly said, “There will be friction at the rim,” when reporters asked what would happen if he has an opportunity to dunk on Richardson.
J-Rich would have none of that, though, tweeting back: “@JaredDudley619 havin people tweet pics of him dunking on me in 2k11. A bruh that’s the only chance u have, cause I will get a flagrant 6.”