Suns might go younger, says Coach Gentry
by Bob Young, USA TODAY Sports
Even before the Phoenix Suns slipped to 13-27 with a 102-90 loss at US Airways Center to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday, coach Alvin Gentry was hinting that it may be time to look to the future.
Tuesday, Gentry expanded on that possibility, even though it could mean even more losses.
“It’s difficult because everybody has a competitive nature about them,” Gentry said. “But, ultimately, you’ve got to try to do what you feel is best for the team and best for the future.
“You know, somewhere along the line we’re going to have to start looking at some of the young guys, be able to play Wesley Johnson more minutes, and get more minutes for Markieff (Morris) on the foor and obviously get (rookie)Kendall (Marshall) out there.”
What Gentry doesn’t want to do is simply throw the young players or his veterans to the wolves.
“The thing I don’t want to do if we get to that point, I don’t want to stick all the young guys out there at one time,” he said.
“I still think we’ve got some real quality players, and I’d like to see a situation where maybe one or two of (the young players) are out there with guys who have been starters and play quality minutes — not in a situation where the game is out of hand.”
So how do the Suns sell the approach to their fans?
“I think you’ve got to do it (by) saying that obviously this season isn’t going the way we anticipated, and now we’re in a situation where we’ve got to start looking to the future,” Gentry said. “And if we’re looking to the future, we’ve got to play young guys and get them in a situation where we figure out exactly what we have for the future, and see if they can show improvement for the next 30 games or whatever it ends up being that we decide to do this.”
Gentry said it would only happen after consultation with club President Lon Babby, General Manager Lance Blanks and owner Robert Sarver.
“It’s something we’ll discuss,” he said. “We’ll sit down and try to … [For more on Suns might go younger, says coach Alvin Gentry, click here.]