October 11, 2012: Suns drop preseason opener at Sacramento
The issues are not new.
Defensively, the Suns must improve their rebounding and stopping dribble penetration.
"At the end of the day, (the Kings) shot 40 percent," head coach Alvin Gentry said the day after his team lost its preseason opener at Sacramento, 102-96.
"We did pretty good defensively on the first possession and then we give second shots up. That's an opportunity for us not to run. It gives us an opportunity to get in foul trouble and gives them an opportunity to score."
The Kings attempted an extra 15 field goals, scoring 11 second chance points.
The other concern for Gentry was the Kings ability to get inside the lane where they scored 44 of their points.
"We got to keep them out of the paint," he said, "so that our big guys are not stepping up and trying to do things and all of a sudden, now we're in rotation."
The positives for Gentry: a 30-point first quarter and unselfish play that resulted in four players with three or more assists.
He singled out Michael Beasley (5-of-9, 14 pts), Wes Johnson (7-of-15, 18 pts) and Markieff Morris (5-of-14, 16 pts and 7 rebs) as players who stood out.
"It's the first preseason game so we got to take it for what it is," Gentry. "The big thing for me is, as I told our guys, we have to get better now the next one."
The Suns next preseason game is Friday against Portland at US Airways Center.
Shannon Brown (eye) and Sebastian Telfair (sore wrist) were both held out of the game as a precaution.
Telfair practiced Thursday with his left wrist taped and is expected to make his preseason debut Friday.
It may be a couple of more days before Brown sees any action. He was limited to non-contact drills during practice.
"I do want to get out there," he said. "I see the guys out there going hard, battling, scraping, clawing with each other. I want to get out there. I want to help as much as possible."
Brown has seven stitches above his left eye closing a cut that was caused when he and PJ Tucker bumped heads during practice Monday.
Brown said he'll play once the stitches are out and the swelling goes down.
In the meantime, he'll make the most of his new look that's gained the approval of his wife, R&B singer Monica.
"She likes it," Brown said. (She) said it makes me tough."