Here we go again: Marcin Gortat mouths off after Suns' slow start


Marcin Gortat is not pleased with how the Phoenix Suns are using him this season. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Marcin Gortat is not pleased with how the Phoenix Suns are using him this season. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Remember 10 days ago when Marcin Gortat and his shot-blocking prowess were the talk of the town? That seems like forever ago at this point.

The Suns have lost four of five since their 26-point comeback at home against Cleveland on Nov. 9, and Gortat has been virtually non-existent at the offensive end — averaging 6.8 points on 7.4 shots per game over that span.

As he’s been accustomed to do during his time in Phoenix, Gortat decided to take his frustrations public after Friday’s 114-102 loss in Los Angeles.

It’s become almost an annual tradition with the Polish Hammer. Who can forget his memorable rant on the Suns’ lack of intensity at the defensive end following a 123-110 loss to the Sixers just two weeks into his tenure with the organization? Or the time he bagged on then-teammate Robin Lopez at a kids basketball camp in Poland for failing to seize the opportunity to be a starting center?

Fans in the Valley have grown used to Gortat’s sometimes unfortunate gift of gab, but his latest comments make all prior instances look rather tame.

On Monday, Gothic Ginobili reported that the Suns’ center conducted an interview following the team’s loss to the Lakers with Polish journalist Marcin Harasimowicz of the Przeglad Sportowy. Harasimowicz, who is based in Los Angeles, asked Gortat everything from his feelings on this year’s team to how he believes he should be utilized in the offense to how he views the team’s chances as the season moves along.

The guys over at Gothic Ginobili were kind enough to translate the interview from Polish to English, but the context surrounding Harasimowicz’s interview still is not known. Was the interview done off the record? Was some of the phrasing lost in translation? Why was the article posted three days after the interview?

Because Gortat was unavailable for comment following Monday’s practice, those contextual questions could not be answered.

Here are some excerpts though from the rather candid conversation. Brace yourself folks, it isn’t pretty.

Gortat on whether the off-season changes have been good or bad for him:

Marcin Gortat: Unfortunately, in my case – for worse. I’m certainly not the player I was last season, I need to find my place in the new order. I’m still capable of helping this team, and regularly recording a double double, but when the ball sticks to one person on offence [sic], it’s hard to find a good rhythm.

Gortat on how he views his role in the offense this season:

MG: Unfortunately… I’ve been doing the dirty work all my life, and now I have to come back to that. I will fight for what’s mine. I’ll try to prove to the coach that I can play an important role in the offence. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m even an option for Gentry. He doesn’t even take me into consideration. The situation is critical. We’re playing the same thing we’ve been playing last year, but the truth is we have a completely different set of players. I don’t think it really works. I can’t get frustrated now though, I have to stay positive

Gortat on why the Suns offense has grown stagnant at times:

MG: We have plenty of players who like to create for themselves, but it doesn’t always work. We don’t share the ball as much as we have in previous seasons. The ball doesn’t move around the perimeter – it usually stops after one or two passes. You can’t play like this, let alone win. Basketball is a team sport. Nobody ever won a game alone.

Pretty heavy stuff to say the least, especially given that Phoenix is just three weeks into its season, but as has become a recurring theme during his two-year stay with the Suns, when Gortat has something to say he doesn’t really care who hears it.

The Polish Hammer went on to say that he doesn’t think a conversation with Gentry would do much good at this point, this his chemistry with Goran Dragic isn’t what it was with Steve Nash and that he was a big optimist to begin the season, because he believed they’d play a much different type of game than they have during their 4-7 start.

It’s a lot to take in, especially without too much context to the interview, but at the heart of  it is a guy who feels lost as the team transitions between the old guard and the new guard. Heading into the season, Gortat was expected to be one of the leaders on the Suns given that they had nine new faces on the roster.

Even if said in anger, this is not the kind of leadership Phoenix’s front office probably expected at the first sign of adversity.

It’s disheartening in the sense that Gortat, while a great asset at both ends of the floor, was by no means ever going to be a main option on offense this season. As the VotS crew discussed during the season preview video, Gortat’s numbers were likely going to come more off of how much energy and effort he put in on a nightly basis than from the the pick-and-roll opportunities he had with Nash. He had to have known when the team brought in Dragic, Luis Scola and Michael Beasley, that he was going to be a No. 4 or No. 5 option. That’s no disrespect to him, but all three acquisitions — even with a raw Beasley who still doesn’t look fully in tune with his game — are more offensively-gifted than he is.

Does he make some terrific points? Sure.  According to the NBA’s stats tool, the Suns’ starting five has been downright awful over the past five games, averaging a measly 74.5 points per 100 possessions with a 1.2 assist to turnover ratio.

The ball doesn’t move as fluidly as it has in recent years, that much is clear to the naked eye.  But for Gortat to expect after 11 regular season games, eight preseason games and a month of camp that all of the kinks would be worked out by now is quite foolish.

Changes seemingly will be made in the coming days, but if the core of the interview is accurate — which knowing Gortat it probably is — you have to wonder why he would go to such lengths to create dissension in a still-maturing locker room so early on in the 2012-2013 season.

The article in Przeglad Sportowy suggests that maybe it’s because Gortat — who is making $7.26 million this season $7.73 million next season — wants out of Phoenix. In Friday’s interview, he’s reported as saying that he turned down a contract extension for the 2014-2015 season. That seems a little odd given that the team has $38.3 million guaranteed on the books for the 2013-2014 season and $16.8 million guaranteed for the following season. It doesn’t seem very likely, unless the offer was really low, that the team would reach out to him without seeing how he’d fit in with an almost entirely new team this season.

Gentry responds

Although Gortat was unavailable to the media Monday, head coach Alvin Gentry couldn’t be that lucky. And credit the Suns coach for not trying to hide behind a “no comment” in regards to his center’s recent dose of verbal diarrhea.

He didn’t speak at great length about the interview but certainly didn’t try to dismiss it either.

“I’m glad he did,” Gentry said when told Gortat had publicly voiced frustrations about his role in the offense. “It’s going to be what it is with him. Nothing’s going to change. We try to throw him the ball and try to get him the ball as much as we possibly can. It is what it is, I hate using that but I guess I have to.

“We would love to throw him the ball and have him post up for us but that hasn’t been one of his strengths, really.”

Although Gentry said that Gortat is effective in pick-and-roll situations, on the offensive glass and in transition, he admitted that in the end it falls on the Suns center to make adjustments if he wants more touches, because the offensive schemes are the same as they were in 2011-12.

“Nothing has changed since last year,” said Gentry.

Gentry is certainly right that the pace and style of play on offense hasn’t varied much from 2011 and 2012, despite what seems to be a glaring lack of efficiency. And as Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk noted Monday, the numbers back that up.

Last season 21.6 percent of the Suns shot came off a pick-and-roll, another 20.4 percent on spot ups, while just 7.5 percent were isolations. So far this season 18.6 percent of shots are pick-and-roll (a Gortat strength), 21.3 percent on spot ups and 8.5 percent in isolation. They are 19th in the league in offensive efficiency this season.

Look, Marcin is going to be Marcin. If there’s one thing that’s been consistent since his arrival in December of 2010, it’s that he doesn’t try to be someone he’s not when a microphone is placed in front of him. In fact, unlike most players, he almost embraces those moments too much.

It’s hard to speculate on how much comments like these hurt team chemistry, given that Gentry is planning to shake things up due to a lack of on-court chemistry anyways.

Regardless, in the midst of a three-game losing streak this is not the type of dialogue the team needs to be hearing. The focus should be on building leads early in games, preventing teams from shooting such a high percentage from three-point range and limiting live turnovers. Instead it’s on an unhappy center and his desires to be “the guy.”

It’s the worst kind of distraction, and regardless if it gets swept under the rug over the next few days or not, his message has been heard loud and clear. Because, something tells me Gentry isn’t the only one in the organization with access to the content of the interview.

And 1

For those expecting a lineup change announcement from Gentry on Monday it never came. The Suns’ head coach said it will come sooner rather than later but that he wanted to use the next few practice days to tinker with certain combinations.

“I don’t think there’s ever an ideal time [to make a change], but when you look at our schedule it’s probably the best situation we’re going to have,” Gentry said. “I wanted to make absolutely sure that this is something we needed to do.”

Although P.J. Tucker has impressed during his brief time in Phoenix — including his defense on LeBron James during the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game — don’t expect the second-year pro to be the guy inserted into the starting lineup.

“I don’t see it changing,” Gentry said of Tucker’s role. “I think he’s a great defender. He does a good job, and we will have him in the game when we need to come up with stops.”

Although several players have thrived in their respective roles off the bench — Shannon Brown, Sebastian Telfair, Tucker, Jermaine O’Neal and Markieff Morris — Gentry doesn’t feel that a shift to the starting lineup would hinder their ability to perform in the slightest.

“It doesn’t do us any good to have those guys continue to battle back down 15,” Gentry said. “We have to look at it like we need something consistent, so we aren’t falling behind by 15. We have to avoid that situation first … that’s the priority right now.”

Tags: Marcin Gortat

  • DBreezy

    Nice article, good to see Gentry lay out the truth but not say anything to fan the flames. As the article says, AG isn’t the only one in the organization who saw the article so they can do their jobs with it and Alvin can do his.

    Marcin better pick up his play going forward though. A bad showing vs JJ Hickson and rookie Myers Leonard after this wouldn’t be bad enough. However if Robin Lopez looked up from his comic book long enough to catch this story, he might make Friday’s game really interesting. It’s not like he didn’t already have motivation coming in, but the chance to make life more uncomfortable for Marcin has to be delicious.

  • jones

    Good for Gortat. I’d rather he speak his mind freely than act it out on the court petulantly.

    These are adults he’s playing with. They should be able to deal with it.

  • scott

    I love how he talks about selfishness and how basketball is a team sport and almost the entire conversation was about how he’s not used right and he’s not getting the ball and his numbers aren’t good because of everyone else.

    I was a big fan of The polish hammer but this selfish crap that he just spewed disgusts me, He has no one to blame but himself for his under performing. Great players are in the gym before games, after games and on days off, he’s a good pick and roll player but his post up game is lacking big time and he should be in the gym at least 8 hours a day working on it. If he was a Shaq type player or a D Howard type player or he was in the GYM 8-10 hours a day working on becoming a Shaq type player and he wasn’t the focal point of the offence than he might have a point, but none of those things are true so Marcin here’s some advice “Instead of blaming everyone else Shut your mouth and start showing you deserve the ball with your play”.

  • damien

    I don’t think gentry is fit to coach this roster… & I’m a suns fan. New roster should = new schemes

  • Melon Man

    Maybe now that he’s got this off his chest he can get back to showing up in games instead of the drop-off we’ve seen over the last couple of games. I still think Gortat should go and we should pursue other options. It’s sad when an aged O’neal outperforms a younger Gortat. Gortat shows weakness against more “true” type centers (see howard and jefferson) and weakness in not being able to not run his mouth. He’s not Poland’s gift to basketball and he’s not god’s gift to the world. Both parties can move on no problem.

  • Brian

    Hey could you guys put somewhere on the side of this site a schedule that’s always updating to show the next 2-4 Suns games, along with date, time, tv, etc.? Is that easy to do?

    • http://www.valleyofthesuns.com Michael Schwartz

      @Brian Check out our schedule page: http://valleyofthesuns.com/schedule/. That provides all that information for the full schedule.

  • Scott

    ^^different scott above^^

    I don’t mind Gortat saying what he’s said. It doesn’t sound that terrible to me. There’s truth in all of it, and also in Gentry’s response. I don’t think anybody is satisfied with the current situation on the Suns … including the guys sitting on the bench.

    Another obvious response to Gortat is: welcome to life after Nash and Hill.

    BTW, I wonder who he thinks the ball is going to all the time? I first assumed Scola, but then I started to wonder if it was Beasley.

    FWIW, I assume Gentry will start Telfair and Dragic against Portland, as that would be a reasonable counter to Dame Lillard and Wes Matthews. Tucker probably ought to start at SF, so he can shut down Batum.

    I would also like to see a 2nd unit featuring Marshall, Brown, Johnson, Beasley, and Gortat. I think Marshall might do a good job of managing a team with a higher level of scoring talent than the 3rd unit guys he’s typically been grouped with on the Suns. IMO, a 2nd unit like this could possibly run down many opposing benches.

    BTW, related to that, does this logic hold up?

    Beasley > Morris?

    Tucker > Dudley?

    Johnson > Dudley?

  • http://none Mikel

    Trade Gortat!!! Get rid of him its not like the guy is Dwight Howard or something! this guy is intimitated when he plays someone who can block hes shot! Somebody tell gortat the reason we dont run more pick n rolls is because he get Stuffed half of the attempts!!! N he only has one post move! Guy needs to shut his mouth!!

  • Tony

    @Dbreezy,

    man you’re good. You said it yesterday that Gortat was pouting and today we here this!

    I’m surprised by how so many people have turned against Gortat. Now, it was unprofessional of Gortat to call out his Gentry and Dragic, so by no means am I condoning that. However, he does have a right to be upset with how little he is being utilized offensively. I’ve never been Gortat’s biggest fan, but the guy has earned the right to get his fg attempts. Instead, the Suns offense is basically Dragic, Beasley, or Brown looking to score as soon as they get the ball. Now if they were great scorers then Gortat would have no right to complain about his lack of touches, but come on; Dragic, Beasley, and Brown are not legitimate scorers. In particular, because of Beasley’s “potential,” he’s been given a prominent focal point with every team before screwing up and being taken out of the rotation. My point is why should Gentry trust Beasley over Gortat, when all Beasley has proven since he’s entered the NBA is that he’s an incredibly inefficicent and inconsistent scorer.

    I said this before and some of the typical clowns on this site criticized me for saying this, but this is what happens when you don’t have respected veteran leadership on the roster. As soon as the team started playing poorly, I expected guys on the team to try to step up and be “the man” and look to be more interested in padding their stats than with playing as a team. With veteran leaders like Nash and Hill, this would never have been an issue. But with them gone, and no one on the Suns roster who is a legitimate leader of tihs team, I expect more roster turnmoil in the future, especially as they continue losing.

    @Scott,

    so you’re saying that Dragic, Beasley, and Brown are of similar caliber as CP3, Lebron James, and Kobe Bryant? I mean, you’re so quick to attack Gortat and claim he has no right to complain about not being involved in the offense because he’s not of the caliber as Shaq was or Howard is, that he should just shut up and accept it; but, answer me this, what has Beasley or Brown shown to indicate that they should be the focal points of the offense? Even Dragic shouldn’t be considered as an already established player on the team because although he’s scoring efficiently and playing solid defense thus far, he’s not making his teammates better.

    Hey Scott, I’m surprised you haven’t blamed Steve Kerr for Gortat’s outburst!

  • john

    ^Reading comprehension is your friend. There are two Scotts involved in this thread.

    Gortat has the right to say what he wants to say, and I’m sure he realizes his words will only be taken seriously if he backs them up with actions.

    Gortat needs to eliminate the no-shows and remove himself from his emotions when he’s on the court. His perception that the Suns don’t appreciate him is hurting his performance.

    Also, Dragic is most definitely a legitimate scorer. So far, he has been the lone bright spot in this short season. He is a legitimate NBA player. I could do without everyone else on the team (except Gortat, so long as he has his head on straight).

  • Melon Man

    @tony

    Gortats offense was a joke in the last couple of games. Beasely might suck but he’s not running his mouth. Id like to know how Dragic isn’t a legit scorer as well. Back to Gortat though, there’s a well known punk band from Canada named DOA whose slogan is Talk-Action=Nothing and to me that’s where Gortat is now.

  • Luka

    espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=bshl7dc

    Gortat is gonna get traded back to Orlando for Vucevic, and Afflalo.

  • http://yahoo.com Mike

    Gortat your not that good… Shut your mouth

  • Tony

    @John,

    why don’t you learn a little bit about basketball before running your mouth like an ignorant duche?

    Last time I checked, a pg’s primary duty is to facilitate. Now sure, there are exceptions, (Westbrook), but Dragic certainly isn’t of the scoring caliber as him. Moreover, for the amount of time Dragic has the ball in his hands, 16.3ppg hardly qualifies as a scorer. Or are you seriously arguing that a 16.3ppg is sufficient to qualify a starting pg as a legitimate scorer??
    But again, his first priority should be to distribute, not to score.

    @Melon Man,

    I’m not condoning Gortat for publicly criticizing Gentry and other Suns players, but rather, unlike what appears to be the majority here, who seem to want to throw Gortat under the bus, I can understand why he’s frustrated and why he has a reasonable gripe to be upset. In particular, he’s playing his heart out, especially on the defensive end, and yet, he isn’t getting rewarded with touches on the offensive end. Yet Beasley, on the other hand, hasn’t shown any offensive consistency so far this season and his defense is atrocious-yet, he’s been getting far more shot attempts than Gortat. But again, all I’m saying is that I can understand why Gortat is upset, but of course he shouldn’t have gone public with his frustrations.

  • john

    @tony

    *douche

    Also, you can’t just go around flaming without expecting people to make you look like a fool. Good luck in your response.

  • DBreezy

    There’s a part of one of Chris Rock’s standup shows where he says, ‘There’s a reason to do everything. There’s a reason to kick an old man down a flight of stairs, just don’t do it!!’ That comes to my mind when considering whether or not Gortat has the right to say something.

    I’m not angry or turning on Gortat, like Gentry said it is what it is so play ball. However it does make me take greater notice of things as I flip around on League Pass. Like a newly fit, but still slow Enes Kanter playing hard D on one baseline and still getting out on the break for a nice alley-oop finish. Or the jump that DeAndre Jordan has made on a team where he plays aren’t called for him and he’s far from the 1,2,3 or 4th option. Or Javale McGee’s numbers off the bench with a whopping 25+ PER, again with no plays called for him. Both of these guys get fewer minutes and shot attempts than Marcin btw, 8mpg in Jordan’s case and 14 in McGee’s. Yet they average the same or more points per game. Time to make the donuts Marcin.

  • http://n/a Keith

    Strike 2 and a half against Gentry. Clock is ticking, and he’s going to be fired sooner rather than later. Guess who usually wins a battle between coach and player? The player! It would be hard to get good trade value for Gortat anyway, especially with his contract. What Gortat said is bad, but it’s much worse what Alvin said.

    As a coach, you can’t throw your players under the bus like that and say “they can’t post up” or “they can’t score.” This is NEVER EVER EVER the right thing to do, and it’s not likely to make management or ownership happy when Gentry is already a lame-duck coach on the last season of his deal who has missed the playoffs 2 years running, was not the pick of the current leadership, and has virtually no shot of getting a new contract.

    I expect them to move up the timetable now on getting rid of Gentry. Try to placate Gortat before the trade deadline. If it doesn’t work, he’s gone then or in the offseason. But Gentry is gone first.

  • m.i.milliman

    Gortat is right in some ways. They need to look at tweaking the system before making any drastic line-up changes. They are not the same team and they need to adjust accordingly. That said, he needs to take some of the blame. He hasn’t been good. And they should look to deal him. Celtics maybe? For Green?

    @ Luka, I would also except that deal.

  • DBreezy

    Nice finish between DAL and GS with OJ Mayo right there in the mix. As the Gortat turns around here, I can’t help but notice the job Carlisle has done with Mayo relative to what’s gone on with Beasley. Beasley is posting a career low PER by a long shot, after only going below 15 once previously in an injury plagued, role changing season. Mayo has never posted a PER of 15, yet is now in the 20′s. They have such similar backgrounds as high expectation guys who don’t quite have the size/strength for their natural position and history of off court trouble. They’re also both known as hard workers off the court.

    While I still think the problems here are larger than Gentry, such things along with what’s happening with Gortat can’t bode well for a guy who’s in his last year of his deal. AZC’s writers have all but said the fix is in, which is pretty strong for them.

  • PennyAnd1

    DIDN”T I TELL YA’LL?! LOL

    Gortat’s Low IQ & bad offense will get him in trouble. He ain’t a good finisher!

    Who’s laughin now.

  • jones

    The only thing that can salvage this season short of blowing it all up is Beasley playing up to his potential.

    That happens and nobody cares about line up changes, Gortat’s touches, Dragic looking for his shot too much, Dudley sucking etc etc.

    Wins go a long way to make everything seem better.

  • PennyAnd1

    I would trade Gortat for a guy like Joakim Noah or the Manimal. Guys that hustles and don’t mind doing all the dirty work.

    Gortat wants to score but can’t do it consistently, plus his court awareness is what’s preventing Gentry to utilize him as the center of the Suns offense.

  • Melon Man

    Agreed with Penny.

    What’s wrong with busting your ass on defense and getting blocks and rebounds? Gortat is like the bass player that gets mad cause the guitar player gets more chicks. Become a badass bass player and people will take note.

  • john

    Haha, I get your point, but you’re wrong. No one cares about bassists.

  • m.i.milliman

    tell that to MCA. Root Down has one of the best baselines ever.

    I’d blow it up. Never liked the Beasley pick up. It’s seemed like a high risk that had very little chance of panning out. And I hate the argument that he was a number two pick. Sometimes people just get it wrong. Beasley is a talented player but I don’t think he’s as good as people think he is, even if he lived up to potential. And he has no clue how to play with others. None. It’s not his fault, he’s just not that guy. I would have made a hard push for O.J. I would have liked Gordon but the Hornets already said they would match whatever offer he took so what was the point. I think its really time to take a look at the front office. To me, that’s the biggest hurdle here. They make moves that if they pan out they look like geniuses and if they don’t… well they look like they do now, incompetent.

    Dragic is not a pg. he’s a good player and I love him but he is more like Ginobli than Nash and should be used as such. I think starting Telfair with him would be a great move.

  • Fan in Chi Town

    Tony -

    I do not agree with your assessment of Gortat mostly because I do not think he has “earned” the right to more offensive touches. His offensive game is pretty limited. He cannot play with his back to the basket, and he can’t catch a pass, even when he was getting spoon fed by Nash. He gets rebounds and blocks a few shots, but he is soft and has trouble defending bigger guys. It is tiring to defend bigger guys consistently, but it IS his job as a center.

    I’m not absolving Beasley, Brown, or Dudley for their poor defense this season, but to say Gortat has “earned” the right to any more offensive touches as those guys is wrong, in my opinion. All of them are slow and soft on defense, all of them are part of the problem, not the solution. However, to my knowledge, Gortat is the only one of the four who believes he deserves a lot more money.

    I know I am kind of rambling, but I guess my point is if Gortat thinks he is worth that much, start playing like it, and stop blaming your PG and coach for your shortcomings. While I am far from a Gentry supporter I don’t blame the coach for Gortat’s soft defense and bad hands and he shouldn’t either.

  • Michael

    Gortat + Johnson vs. Boozer.

    Boozer is unhappy in Chicago as well, so two whining millionaires could exchange their jerseys. Plus, the Bulls have some nice merchandising options with the Polish Hammer coming to Poland-City.
    We could lure the Bulls with the expiring contract of Wes. We would have a prime PF, a frontcourt with O´Neal/ Boozer seems quite powerful to me with Scola coming off the bench.
    Nice! Ohhhh. we have a crappy FO? How could I forget about that…

  • http://none Mikel

    Seems like everybody wants Gentry fired and for all i know he probably will be fired but its not like the guy is coaching the miami Heat’s roster….hes coaching the Suns and thus i dont blame him!!!

  • http://none Mikel

    We had the chance to sign Mayo and didnt we had the chance to draft Terrance Jones of kentucky and didnt! Yup our FO Sucks!!! its a shame man i freakin love the Suns….

  • http://www.phoenixsuns.com Andrew McGregor

    I have to agree with Marcin Gortat. This team has loads of talent but it might take some time to gel. Trade talk about Gortat is ridiculous. Gortat is still young and talented centers who can block rebound and score are hard to come by. using a talent like Gortat as a 4th or 5th option on offense is beyond me. Dragic can score but he’s also a point guard. he should be thinking as a pass first and score second point guard. Gortat should be the no.2 option right behind Beasley as a scoring option. when Beasley and Gortat find some fluidity in their game the Suns will start winning. Luis Scola is consistent but not spectacular and is a valued big man. Shannon brown should be starting at the shooting guard position and have dudley come of the bench. until Markieef Morris can find consistency in his game Scola should definitely be starting. Morris is loaded with talent and potential but until he can find his groove he should be coming off the bench. But he should also e considered a another young building block for this team.

  • jones

    @Andrew

    Spot on!

  • Serek

    I understand Gortat. He is coming off a career year, dominating summer play (albeit in Europe), has some ideas to try to improve the performance of the team and was intending to play for his contract (which is a year sooner than most guys usually start to give a damn, if ever)

    If the team was clicking, nobody would care about Gortat’s offensive aspirations. But as it stands, the “scorers” are consistently laying bricks, while only JO has higher FG% than Gortat (but with 10% of attempts), even though he rarely gets any plays.

    What do you have to lose anyway. When 2nd pick isn’t making shots, throw the ball to the guy, see what he can do, and then discuss. I do like Beasley, but obviously he is trying too hard.

  • john

    @m.i.milliman & @Melon Man

    I guess I should correct myself. No one cares about bassists *except their moms and other bassists.* ;)

    @Serek – I pretty much completely agree with your comment. The Suns’ current offensive schemes are obviously not working very officiently. So, why continue to use the same sets and expect different results?

  • DBreezy

    It seems a lot of things about this season could be decided within the next month, possibly sooner. They’ve got two home games vs teams ahead of them in the West, then a 6 game road trip as part of 7 of 8 on the road. There are some easier opponents in a few of those games, but no games have been easy for the Suns so far this season.

    We’ve already heard from Gortat, but imo there’s also an undercurrent with Scola as well. In the preseason, Bickley flat out wondered how long he’d be happy in this rebuilding situation and they keep pestering him with questions about whether he’s happy here. His responses have ranged between lukewarm to funny. Gentry is on a string and stressed. The focus on Gortat has shifted it off his pending lineup/rotation changes and his quote that he likes how most of the parts are playing individually but not together. That could be a backhanded swipe at the front office as it essentially repeats a refrain from many analysts and fans, albeit in a smoother manner.

    If things don’t meltdown before then, a ugly home loss on TNT to Dallas on Dec 6th could be the end for Gentry at this rate.

  • Scott

    As I said before the season started, I think it’s an error to start Beasley. He’s not familiar with the system, and he needs to make basic corrections in his game.

    IMO, it would have been better to start the season with Gortat, Scola, Dudley, Brown, and Dragic – veterans who understand the new hybrid Suns/Houston system – and then see whether the front court was able to co-exist properly, and whether defense and scoring was adequate coming from the wing. I think that makes the substitution patterns and adjustments easier to conceptualize.

    Instead, Gentry put Beasley in the starting unit. Keep in mind Beasley has a lot on his plate, perhaps more than any other Sun. First he had to learn the new system, then become more of an assist guy who keeps the ball moving, then become a go-to guy, become efficient, and be a rebounding wing, a defender, and someone who drives for the and-one. I know that’s all normal basketball stuff, but I gather he hadn’t mastered it before, and he would need time to make adjustments. It would have been much easier to limit what he had on his plate by letting him get easy baskets as PF in the 2nd unit, just working on knowing the system and becoming more efficient, while slowly getting him into shape during practices for a potential starting role at SF.

    Instead, by starting Beasley before he was ready, it set him up to fail.

  • Voqar

    The past few games, Gortat has been getting swatted more than doing the swatting.

    He shouldn’t cry because they try to get him the ball and get him going but after watching him do 4-5 utterly weak moves that end up as turovers I’d stop going to him too. He needs to bring it strong and stfu.

    I do agree with his last point. The Suns are vastly more effective when they move the ball and pass more. They are especially effective with Dragic driving and kicking but his only works when people finish their damn shots, and Gortat is as guilty as anyone of failing to deliver here.

  • Scott

    BTW, Brandon Roy is out for knee surgery again after having played just a handful of games.

    (Some fans wanted the Suns to sign him.)

  • http://slapdoghoops.blogspot.com Slap Dog Hoops

    Can’t blame Gortat for feeling the way he does. Look at how his team is struggling. For that team to succeed, they need him to get the ball down low. His diminished offense could also be the result of the presence of Luis Scola. Scola would certainly take a lot of possesions that Gortat would normally get.

  • DBreezy

    @Scott,

    I wasn’t in the sign Brandon Roy camp, but big picture how was he any different than Redd? Both players require a lot of faith in the Suns training staff for it to be worth it. Same goes for those who want/wanted them to take a flyer on Oden.

    Without debating the game specific merits/demerits of the lineup you proposed to start the season, I think the lineup itself crystallizes the big picture issue around here. What exactly is the goal here? It doesn’t look like anyone from the coaches, upper management, or the players are on the same page.

    Even this latest dustup seems to have caught management by surprise. It’s comical to me that AZC still hasn’t mentioned any of the Gortat stuff. Bright Side said Coro was there when Gentry spoke and that he also interviewed players after practice, yet not a peep. Not even a tweet, although he had time to mention Ralph Sampson and Chaminade as well as 16year old kid interviewing Telfair on the radio yesterday. That’s not a dig at Coro, to me it seems clear he’s being ‘asked’ to wait before writing anything by ‘someone.’

    They can put any kind of bow on it they want, but it looks like there are too many agendas on and off the court. Hopefully they win a few games soon, to kick the can down the road a bit. No one likes going ugly early.

    PS. Lance and Lon if you’re still out there reading fan comments, Scola will probably want to be traded after July 1st. Please do not get surprised when an Argentinian newspaper tells you so!

  • DBreezy

    I now see in the latest version of the AZC article there is a blurb about Marcin. Wasn’t there when I looked earlier.

  • m.i.milliman

    @John Well played.

    Trading Gortat shouldn’t be a big deal. Go after Bledsoe. A back court of Dragic and Bledsoe would be devistaring defensively. They wouldn’t be bad offensively either.

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  • Scott

    @DBreezy -

    Medically, there is a world of difference between Roy and Redd. Redd had ligament / tendon problems, which is fairly common for athletes, whereas Roy has basically no cartilage on his knees.

    In other words, Roy is lucky he can still walk and do light athletics without a total knee replacement. Redd, on the other hand, could still play for years, and I thought he played reasonably well for the Suns. I suspect his pride has prevented him from signing with an NBA team for less money, and he’s decided to go out “on top.” If he was willing to make Barbosa money, I bet he’d still be in the league, as a veteran mentor if nothing else.

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