PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns have finally decided to shake up their starting lineup, moving Marcin Gortat and Jared Dudley into the starting unit in place of Robin Lopez and Vince Carter.
Head coach Alvin Gentry said that Carter will now be the Suns’ sixth man.
“We’ll see if that helps,” Gentry said. “It’s something we’re going to try as a team, and we’ll see how it works out. That’s all we can do is continue. We’ve got to continue to find a way to win games. Our goal is to win every game we’ve got left on our schedule.”
Gortat will make his first start at center for the Suns after starting next to Lopez on Jan. 5 against the Lakers. It will be the seventh overall start of his career. Dudley own 27 career starts, including five this season.
Carter missed all three shots in 10 minutes Friday against New Orleans before sitting out the second half due to illness. He clanked 16 of 23 shots earlier in the week at the Lakers.
Lopez has been a starter in name only the past few months, with Gortat already playing the bulk of the minutes. Lopez’s struggles reached a new low when he recorded four fouls in just under four ineffective minutes Friday against the Hornets.
Gortat will play after suffering a fractured nose two nights ago on a collision with Steve Nash that Gentry termed “a perfect storm” to lead to the injury.