Updated Dec 5, 2013 - 6:35 pm
Suns' Babby: With intensity, team ‘can play with anybody'
At 10-9, the Suns are just outside of playoff contention and surprising most. They're 8-7 against the deep Western Conference, 5-6 on the road and, according to Lon Babby, president of basketball operations, they're good enough to beat anyone.
"If we run on offense and play with intensity on defense," Babby explained to The Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta, "we can play with anybody.
"I think our guys recognize that."
The Suns have handed the West's best team, the Portland Trail Blazers, two of their three losses, while also coming within a few points of beating both the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder. The team also came within a point of beating the Trail Blazers a third time, losing 90-89 on a last-second Damian Lillard layup.
Yet, as Babby explains, maintaining such energy -- pacing themselves over the course of an 82-game season -- is a challenge.
"The hard thing is that it's not easy to do that every night," he said.
Exhibit A of such a statement came on back-to-back late November nights, when the team lost a road-home slate of games to the lowly Sacramento Kings, who have only managed four wins all season -- tied for the fewest in the West.
While quick to point out how well the Suns can play with the right approach, Babby knows his team is more than just capable on such a style -- they're dependent on it.
"We don't have the talent to cruise," he said. "That's for sure."
Just three of the team's 10 wins thus far have come via double digits, leaving no evidence of the team's ability to ‘cruise', as it were.
But that's fine. No one expected them to.
- Your Top Plays for Today
- Phoenix Suns' Channing Frye finishes third in NBA Sportsmanship Award voting
- Suns' Hornacek on Len, Goodwin: 'We couldn't just throw them out there and hope for the best'
- The Pulse: NBA Playoffs will have your attention over summer
- Suns guard Goran Dragic: 'Consistency' was vital in winning Most Improved Player award
- Goran Dragic, Suns guard - Wednesday April 23Suns guard Goran Dragic talks about winning the Most Improved Player of the Year Award.
- Tim Kempton, Suns analyst - Wednesday April 23Tim Kempton defends his vote for Defensive Player of the Year.
- Tim Kempton, Suns analyst - Tuesday April 22Suns radio analyst Tim Kempton calls in to react to the blast.
- Bickley Blast - Tuesday April 22Bickley blasts on postseason awards and how making it in the playoffs makes a huge difference
- Eddie Johnson, Suns analyst - Monday April 21Suns analyst Eddie Johnson talks about the NBA playoffs.