Updated Nov 18, 2012 - 9:24 am
Alvin Gentry: Changes coming to starting lineup
So far this season, the Suns have had the same starting lineup in all 11 games but stability hasn't translated to the fourth quarter. Phoenix has yet to finish with the same five-man unit in consecutive games.
"We've got to stop having the starts we've been having, and the only way to really do that is to make a change in the lineup," Gentry said. "Probably the next game we play it probably won't be the lineup that you've seen."
As has become the norm so far during the 2012-2013 season, the Suns' starting five -- Goran Dragic, Jared Dudley, Michael Beasley, Luis Scola and Marcin Gortat -- came out flat against LeBron and Co., missing their first nine shots from the field. While the team battled back from an early nine-point deficit, a shooting slump to start the third quarter was too much to overcome in the second half against Miami.
"We can't keep going down 9-0 and then start the third quarter 13-4," said Gentry. "Then we put in another group of guys, and they fight their way back. We just can't play like that."
The Suns have trailed by double digits in 10 of 11 games this season, including all six at home. To make matters worse, Phoenix's starters Saturday night combined for just 33 points, while a combination of Jermaine O'Neal, Shannon Brown and Markieff Morris accounted for 40 points off the bench.
"We have to do something," said Gentry. "Take a look at another situation and keep trying to make adjustments and changes until we can find the group out there where we aren't battling from behind."
While Gentry didn't show his hand Saturday night as to what changes will be made, Brown's play off the bench certainly warrants more consideration for a starting nod.
This season, Brown is averaging a career-high 13.4 points per game (3rd-best on the team) and has scored 10 or more points in eight of 11 games.
Although Dudley, the team's current starting shooting guard, has improved his numbers of late (three games of double-digit scoring in his last five), during the majority of this season the five-year veteran has been outplayed by Brown.
The move wouldn't be in Dudley's worst interest, either. While the longest-tenured active Sun provides tremendous leadership to the starting lineup, he first made a name for himself in the Valley by providing a spark off the bench during the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons.
- Reserves lead Suns to season-ending win over Kings: By The Numbers
- Suns general manager Ryan McDonough: 'We'd like to have' Channing Frye back next season
- Phoenix Suns GM: It would be a waste of time for another team to pursue Eric Bledsoe
- If you dislike Robert Sarver, don't read this!
- Robert Sarver reflects on his 10 years at the helm of the Phoenix Suns
- Ryan McDonough, Suns general manager - Wednesday April 16Suns general manager Ryan McDonough discusses the team missing the playoffs.
- The DISH - April 16, 2014 - Wednesday April 16Jon Bloom gives us The Day in Suns' History.
- Bickley Blast - Tuesday April 15Dan goes off on the Suns missing the playoffs.
- Jeff Hornacek, Suns head coach - Tuesday April 15Why were the Suns able to surpass early season expectations?
- The DISH - April 14, 2014 - Monday April 14Jon Bloom gives us the Day In Suns History.