PHOENIX — Michael Redd will officially make his Phoenix Suns debut tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers, head coach Alvin Gentry said in his pregame press meeting.
While Gentry has no limits or range for how many minutes the veteran shooting guard will play, he does think Redd will not only suit up but see some valuable court time. Redd will “probably get in the game early,” Gentry said.
“It’s kind of a look-see thing to see how ready he is,” the Suns’ head coach added. “I’m not going to judge anything by tonight. I just think we have to understand that it’s going to be a little while to get the true version of what we’re going to get.”
In our postgame Vokle show following the loss to the Lakers on Tuesday, we wondered where minutes would be cut to make room for Redd should he prove worthy of playing time. Josh Childress has been relegated to the bench while Jared Dudley and Shannon Brown both appear to be important pieces to the puzzle.
Gentry provided our answer, and he said forward Grant Hill will likely be the one to lose minutes. That aim will actually help out Hill, who is receiving too many minutes in the eyes of his head coach. Hill is averaging 27.1 minutes per game this season.
“What we’re asking him to do (on defense), if we want to keep him fresh so he has legs on the offensive end too, we need to cut some of his minutes,” Gentry said.
Hill has struggled on the offensive end, and it was never more apparent than in the Suns’ game in Los Angeles, where Hill went 1-for-12 from the field after chasing around a Suns-hating Kobe Bryant.
Bryant went for 48 points in the 99-83 Lakers win, but Gentry still praised Hill for locking Bryant down until the first set of subs came into the game. At +3 for that game, Hill and guard Ronnie Price were the only Phoenix players with a positive +/- .