If it’s possible to have a turning point in a 21-39 season, it might have happened for the Suns in the moments after they were humiliated, 113-88, by the Boston Celtics before a rare home sellout crowd.
Interim coach Lindsey Hunter blasted his team for the first time. His comments implied that some players were balking at his lengthy practice sessions.
And there were games in the weeks after Hunter took over for Alvin Gentry that it appeared the team had left its legs in the practice gym.
But when the playoffs are beyond reach, and the only thing at stake is how many ping-pong balls the Suns will have in the lottery basket, why not?
“I guarantee you, we will change or we will be practicing until they kick us out of the gym because that puts a bad taste in my mouth. Disrespectful,” Hunter fumed after the Celtics loss.
“I do not care how guys think we are going too hard or too long. Too bad. As long as I will be standing here reporting to you (media people) after games, they will be standing with me in that gym until we get it.”
And what do you know? The Suns, for now at least, seem to have gotten it.
They lost in their next outing to the San Antonio Spurs, but since then have won three consecutive games, two of them overtime victories back-to-back against Minnesota and at San Antonio. They backed those up by beating a streaking Atlanta Hawks team.
More important, the Suns finally beat the bugaboo that had haunted them throughout this season — an inability to close out games.
They go back to work Wednesday after four days without a game when the Toronto Raptors visit US Airways Center.
Phoenix Suns putting work into practice, seeing results
Arizona Republic | Mar 6