For those of you who watched last night’s Suns vs. Warriors game, you might have noticed that the Suns most talented scorer Michael Beasley was not on the floor down the stretch during the game, including the final few possessions when the Suns needed a 3-pointer to tie up the game when trailing 87-84.
Beasley showed Suns fans what he’s capable of when he dropped 29 points during the Suns final preseason game, and last night Beasley also showed some positive signs in terms of his progression on offense.
Beasley got himself to the free throw line twice and attempted 4 free throws during his 22 minutes of play. That may not seem like a big deal but the fact that he made a couple of aggressive moves to the basket instead of settling for jumpers all game is a very positive sign.
Which brings me to my point, Michael Beasley has to be the guy you give
the ball to at the end of the game. Whether he has the ball or he has a play that’s set for him is vital for the Suns success. Beasley is a terrific scorer but it’s clear he has yet to earn Alvin Gentry’s trust.
But this is another situation I question Gentry’s decisions. When the Suns needed a 3 pointer to tie up the game these are the line-ups he had on the floor on two different occasions, Goran Dragic, P.J Tucker, Jared Dudley, Luis Scola, and Shannon Brown; Goran Dragic, Sebastian Telfair, Shannon Brown, Luis Scola, and Jared Dudley.
The Suns are fortunate because they have a lot of shooter on their team to spread the floor so in a situation like last night. Why Gentry didn’t put Markieff Morris and Michael Beasley into the game at the end is completely befuddling.
Scola has a great touch, and has developed a 3-point touch in the corners but prior to last night he made only 1 3-pointer in his entire career so without a doubt Morris should’ve replaced him in the line-up in that situation.
Now regarding Tucker and Telfair being in the line-up instead of a Michael Beasley is another very questionable decision. Tucker had a great 4th quarter but his buckets were all point blank dunks or lay-ups off of a hustle play or second chance points. Tucker doesn’t have 3-point range, nor does Telfair as he’s a career 31.4% 3-point shooter.
Alvin Gentry has made a lot of questionable line-up choices down the stretch of games during his 3 and half years as head coach of the Suns and this should raise some red flags. It’s one thing if Gentry doesn’t have resources in such situations but the fact is he does. Had he put Beasley, Dragic, Dudley, Brown and Morris out there when they trailed 87-84, the Suns would of had 5 3-point shooters out there which would of given them a far better chance to send the game into overtime.
Down the stretch of close games in professional sports, for coaches the game becomes a game of chess. It’s vital that coaches put the right guys out there, and uses proper play call. Gentry has made a several good decisions down the stretch but in vice versa he has also made some very questionable moves. The Suns will prepare to face a tough, rising Detroit Pistons team on Friday at the U.S Airways center as the Suns will look to get their 1st win of the 2012-2013 season.