October 15, 2012: Telfair playing with confidence, Dragic starting to get his wind back
The Suns’ active roster — not counting Channing Frye, stands at 17.
Not all 17 players, however, are expected to make the upcoming two-game, three-day preseason road trip to Dallas and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“We just haven’t made any decisions because we got two whole weeks before we have to really consider exactly what we have to get done,” head coach Alvin Gentry said.
Big men Ike Diogu, Solomon Jones and Luke Zeller all appear to be fighting for one roster spot, while Diante Garrett has impressed enough through training camp and the days following to where the team may decide to carry four point guards.
Speaking of point guards…
Sebastian Telfair practiced fully despite being less than 100-percent.
“I’m not feeling no worse than any other guy on the team right now,” he said.
Telfair missed Friday’s preseason game against Portland after rolling his ankle during the morning shoot-around. He’s also been bothered by his shoulder and right wrist.
“He plays so doggone hard,” Gentry said, “and he’s so competitive that he’s going to always have those kinds of injuries. Usually, in this situation, if we were playing a regular season game, he would lace it up and just play.”
To his credit, Telfair has not missed a practice.
“I don’t like sitting out a practice,” he said. “That’s really where I get my rhythm and gain the trust of my team, especially early in the season.”
Telfair is entering his ninth NBA season and second with the Suns.
“I’m just sure of what I need to do,” he said of his experience. “I know what they expect from me. I know what it takes for me to be on the floor. I understand now how to break down an offense where I’m not doing too much and exhausting myself.”
Meanwhile, Goran Dragic is working his way back into shape after an ankle injury slowed him down at the start of training camp.
“Before I got injured I was in great shape. I could run and everything,” he said. “Then I was what, one week and a half I didn’t run. I was on the bike but it’s not the same.”
Dragic said he’s starting to get his wind back, which was evident by his 30-minute stint against Portland. He had played half as long in the preseason opener.
Defensively, the Suns in the first two preseason games have held the opposition to 40 percent or under shooting.
“On the flip side of that, we’ve given up 33 offensive rebounds in two games,” Gentry said.
“We just got to hold our ground a little better. We’re turning and boxing out under the basket so when we get pushed then we’re too far under. We got to step out and meet contact outside that charge circle so that we’re rebounding outside that charge circle. We’re way too far under the basket to rebound to do it effectively.”