Jermaine O’Neal, did anyone actually realize haven’t been playing? I have but it seemed sort of irrelevant. O’Neal has missed the last 5 games for personal reasons, has finally returned to the team.
O’Neal (personal) rejoined the team for shoot-around but didn’t participate in last night’s game against the Nuggets.
“He has a funeral to attend, then he’ll be back and we’ll go from there,” head coach Alvin Gentry told The Arizona Republic.
Alvin Gentry seems to be giving O’Neal time to clear his head and just sit back for bit after he missed 5 games attending a funeral in South Carolina.
In his absence the Suns have gone 3-2. With O’Neal out of the rotation it appears sophomore Markieff Morris has taken on a larger role on the team.
O’Neal in his 3 games that he played in averaged 1.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game on an average of 12 minutes a game.
The Suns next game is on Wednesday at home against the Chicago Bulls. O’Neal is most likely available for that game but is unlikely to receive playing time given that the Suns have gotten by pretty well without him.
Markieff Morris has soaked up O’Neal’s minutes for the most part and with Morris coming off his best game of the season it’s unlikely Gentry will take minutes away from Morris to play an emotionally drain O’Neal. O’Neal last game was when the Suns played the Orlando Magic on November 4th nine days ago.