Updated Feb 27, 2013 - 1:42 pm
Suns coach: Have to hold players accountable on defense
That means a defense-first mentality, the likes of which has not been seen in the Valley for a long, long time. If ever.
There will be some bumps along the way, with one of them being either adding personnel fit to run the system or getting the players currently on the roster to adjust.
And that takes time along with effort.
"It's tough, it's hard, it's hard work," Hunter told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo Wednesday.
Hunter said ensuring change happens will mean some players don't see the minutes they are accustomed to, and one of the players who has seen a significant decrease in playing time is forward Michael Beasley.
Beasley, who has struggled this season, has played no more than 15 minutes in any of the last four games and has played fewer than 10 minutes twice.
"It's the only way to get better and the only way to put us where we need to be, and I have to hold guys accountable for that," Hunter added. "I treat it just as what it is; it's not personal, it's just what we have to do.
"And in order to play significant minutes you have to do it. And guys that are doing it play, the guys that are still trying to find their way will have to keep working on it."
Hunter said he does his best to keep his players in the loop as to why playing time fluctuates like it has, and in terms of Beasley, it's all about waiting for the player to figure things out.
"I can't figure figure it out for him, nobody else can figure it out for him; he has to do it," he said. "I'll continue to give him an opportunity to play, that won't change, I just expect him to execute the game plan defensively and to make the right plays offensively."
But when it comes to the fact that Beasley is still trying to figure things out, Hunter said he's not "disappointed."
"If we're expecting him just to change overnight, that's not the right way to go about it," he said. "Any steps with him we look at as baby steps.
"We know what Mike is coming from, we know all the challenges that he has. I don't look at it as a disappointment; I look at it as growing pains for him."
And as Hunter said, if Beasley learns and grows from this situation, as difficult as it may be right now, he'll be OK, and he thinks his player is trying to do just that.
"That's what we ask," he said. "Try to do the right thing, we're going to try to help you, and hopefully we can get this thing turned around with the kid and he can be a successful player."
Adam Green, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
- Suns' Dragic leads Slovenia to Group D win over Mexico at FIBA World Cup
- Suns guard Goran Dragic leads Slovenians to win in World Cup opener
- Phoenix Suns launch a social media campaign to find new fan models
- Former Phoenix Suns guard Leandro Barbosa signs with the Golden State Warriors
- Suns guard Goran Dragic limited as Slovenia routed by United States in World Cup exhibition
- Lionel Hollins, head coach Brooklyn Nets - Wednesday August 27The head coach of the Brooklyn Nets joins Doug & Wolf for the ASU Sun Devil Fork Report.
- Kirk Gibson, D-backs manager - Tuesday August 26D-backs manager Kirk Gibson discusses possible changes to a six-man rotation.
- Paul Coro - azcentral sports Suns writer - Tuesday August 26Paul Coro discusses Eric Bledsoe still being a restricted free agent.
- Chris Sheridan- sheridanhoops.com - Tuesday August 19Chris Sheridan believes there is one team that could easily make a max contract offer to Eric Bledso
- Who impressed/who depressed - Monday August 18Dan and Vince look back at who impressed and depressed them over the weekend.