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Suns’ Nash is again the playmaker

PHOENIX – After his 17-assist, two-turnover performance
Sunday against Washington, Steve Nash is second in the NBA
with 10.4 assists per game. He trails only Boston’s Rajon
Rondo (14.1).

Nash is currently riding a streak of six straight games of
double-digit assists.

“Our cohesion is better,” the point guard said. “We have a
better understanding and our spacing and our play has
improved offensively so [the increase in assists is] one
byproduct.”

Nash added he’s feeling healthier despite still dealing
with a number of nagging injuries—from his groin to his
heel to his back.

Also, he doesn’t feel like he has to score as much as he
had to at the beginning of the season.

In the Suns first 12 games, Nash scored 20 or more points
five times putting his average at 19.7. His assists
during that stretch were less than nine a game (8.9).

Since then, Nash is averaging 13.5 points and 15.3 assists
per game.

“I think it’s better for our team if I don’t have to score
as much,” he said. ” When everyone’s scoring, it makes our
team difficult to defend.

“It keeps everyone engaged.”

Gentry to keep same starting lineup

Earl Barron will continue to start for the Suns, who are
3-and-0 with him in the starting lineup. Head coach Alvin
Gentry likes the activity he gives them, especially
inside.

Now what happens with his minutes after the ball is tipped
will depend on how well he is playing. The same goes for
everyone else according to Gentry, who doesn’t believe
he’ll ever have a set rotation this season.

“I don’t know any other way that we can to do it right
now. You know that second unit sometimes involves
Channing (Frye). Sometimes it doesn’t. I just think
we’re just going to have to do it on a game-to-game
situation. It’s not going to be something that’s going to
be really set.”

Lopez getting there

Robin Lopez, three weeks into his rehab from a sprained
left knee, continues to shoot 15-16-17-foot jumpers
following practice. He still has not been cleared to
resume full basketball activity; and when he does, Gentry
said it’s going to take him two to three weeks to get into
basketball shape.

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