Bonneville Phoenix Network
 KTAR News
 Arizona Sports
Arizona Sports Now On 98.7 FM
Latest News


Phoenix Suns

Updated Jan 23, 2013 - 6:24 pm

Suns GM Blanks: Expectations for team have changed

Phoenix Suns' Goran Dragic (1), of Slovenia, tries to get a pass off against Milwaukee Bucks' John Henson, left, and Larry Sanders (8) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in Phoenix. The Bucks won 98-94. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

When the 2012-13 season began, the Phoenix Suns had a set of expectations.

"Coming into the season we were hoping that our young players could begin to develop," general manager Lance Blanks told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf Wednesday.

Blanks, who touched on a variety of topics, mentioned Kendall Marshall, Michael Beasley, Markieff Morris and Goran Dragic as such players who had room to grow.

"That was one, and then secondly, we felt like we had enough talent to at least be in the conversation as it relates to the playoffs."

As far as those specific things are concerned, the Suns are 0-for-2.

At 13-28 they have the worst record in the Western Conference, and the players Blanks mentioned -- aside from Dragic -- have either struggled to make a consistent impact (Morris, Beasley) or struggled to make any kind of impact (Marshall).

"Certainly we'd like to get back in the playoff picture but didn't feel like it was a slam dunk that we were in, and didn't feel like it was a slam dunk that we were out," Blanks said. "If you forced me to bet on it or to guess where we might end up, I thought at the worst case maybe similar to last year, maybe 10 or 11, and at the highest maybe six.

"And we were nowhere in the ballpark of that."

Blanks said aside from that, though, the environment around the team had gone south.

"It really went in the ditch, if you will, in terms of the positivity and the atmosphere with the guys," he said. "It wasn't a conducive environment or a healthy environment for people to come to work and get better on a daily and/or nightly basis."

So, the Suns made a coaching change.

Blanks has expressed confidence in the decision to make Lindsey Hunter the interim coach, though understands the team's goals now are different than they were a few months ago.

"I think you have to do less measuring by the wins and losses just for the simple fact that we're literally starting over right in the middle of the season," he said. "We have to, of course, change the direction of things. We have 41 games left.

"Of making the playoffs, we're not even looking at that. We're just looking at it day-by-day, we want to see the environments change with the players -- we want to see them getting better on a daily basis."

Blanks also said he believes the team's defense can be better, adding there has been some embarrassment with how the team has played on that end of the floor.

"So we feel like that's an area that Lindsey can help us improve and move things to a higher level."

About the Author

School: University of Arizona

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: Fall 2008, right before Cardinals Super Bowl run

Favorite sports memory: Being at Game 7 of the 2001 World Series with my dad

Favorite all-time athlete: Larry Centers

Favorite sports movies: The Sandlot, Rookie of the Year, Jerry Maguire

Most crushing sports moment: Grew up in Arizona and went to UA from 2002-06. In short, there are too many to name just one.


comments powered by Disqus
Latest News