Alvin Gentry looks at how to close, P.J. Tucker to start against 76ers

PHOENIX — Alvin Gentry continues his search for the right formula. He’s not the type of coach who will express any complaints about his job, but before the Phoenix Suns’ game on Wednesday against Philadelphia, he said that the season has been a trying one.

“(It’s) not easy,” Gentry said. “It really grates on you because you’re really close. I always second-guess myself more than the players. I look and see how I can get better … I look at that before I look at anything else.”

So what’s he looking at? Gentry said he’d been watching tape of the final five minutes of close games to find trends. What he’s found is a combination of missed shots, missed rebounds and turnovers.

The Suns have had nine games that were decided by three points or less (they won four of them), and they also have gone 1-2 in three games that went to overtime.

And overall, Gentry is still searching for the right lineup combinations. P.J. Tucker will start in place of Shannon Brown on Wednesday as Gentry hopes to “set the stage defensively.”

The Suns head coach hinted that he’ll try to get Michael Beasley some minutes against the Sixers after Beasley had his first DNP against the Thunder. The Phoenix forward had his second-best shooting performance of the year against Philadelphia on Nov. 25, scoring 21 points on 8-of-13 field goal shooting.

Any minutes Beasley receives could be huge. Another big game and Gentry would definitely spend some time looking into why exactly the Suns’ forward has success against Philadelphia.

Getting minutes, could still be a big “if,” however.

  • Harry

    The last optimist here. I like this line-up. Come on PJ. Make it permanent.

  • Scott

    That was a good game. I thought I saw something from the Suns I’d not seen in a while: veteran poise. It was there pretty much throughout the game.

    As for Beasley, I think Gentry ought to tell him, “I hate to tell you this, but your rhythm is bad. Really, really bad. I’m not going to play you till your rhythm improves.” And then he should play Johnson or someone else.

    And if Beasley asks what he can do to improve his rhythm, Gentry should say, “I’ll tell you what I tell everyone else: hustle on defense. Focus all your attention on what you’re supposed to be doing on defense. If you keep playing hard on defense, your rhythm on offense will take care of itself.” IMO, that’s the best thing Gentry can do for Beasley (and the team).

    BTW, if the Suns ever had a shot at netting Vucevic in a trade with Orlando, I’m going to guess that’s no longer possible. Vucevic just broke the team’s rebounding record in a game versus the Heat. He got 29 rebs in that game, beating team records set by Shaq and
    Dwight Howard.