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Phoenix Suns' Lon Babby: Defense still doesn't trust each other

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard, right, puts up a shot as Phoenix Suns forward Michael Beasley defends during the first half of their NBA basketball game, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

It's safe to say the Phoenix Suns have not gotten off to the kind of start defensively as they would have hoped.

Head coach Alvin Gentry and his staff put a renewed emphasis on improving the team's defense during camp and preseason, but so far the Suns haven't been able to translate their hard work and preparation to success on the court.

The Suns' defensive efficiency percentage is tied for 25th in the league with a 104.5 rating, a number that more than highlights the deficiencies in that area.

Team President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby told Arizona Sports 620's Doug & Wolf Wednesday he has had a revelation about the Suns' struggles to defend the hoop.

"One thing I find so interesting about basketball is that it's a game of trust and I think our problems are not physical as they are, they are not even mental so much as technical," Babby said. "What [the problems] boil down to listening to [Gentry] and his communications with the other coaches and with the team is nobody's quite yet able to trust that the person who has the responsibility behind them is going to be there to do it."

Babby believes the result of the mistrust on the court has been sloppy play and schematic errors.

"Until they have that [trust] they overreact to certain situations and the rotations aren't necessarily proper and the defense isn't as cohesive as we'd like it to be," Babby said.

The Suns welcomed many new faces this season and a learning curve was surely expected. Babby feels once the players have a chance to bond more not only on the court, but off the court as well, the team's play will reflect that newfound chemistry.

"Once they trust each other then our defense will improve," Babby stated. "It seems to have had a much greater impact defensively than offensively, but we have to get better and I have really very little concern that we will get much better defensively."


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