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Gortat trying to bring defense, leadership to Suns

PHOENIX – For new Suns center Marcin Gortat, it was quite the wake-up call to be sent from a defensive minded team like Orlando to a Phoenix team where playing defense is treated like an afterthought.

“Back in Orlando, that was our first mentality. Our coach was putting a lot of pressure on defense and paying attention to a lot of little details. Being here in Phoenix, we don’t have too much experience like Orlando had,” said Gortat.

The “Polish Hammer” isn’t satisfied with his new team’s effort on defense.

“We have to work more defensively to get more rebounds and stop people on the boards,” said Gortat.

Gortat admits he was momentarily taken aback about being traded to Phoenix.

“The first two or three minutes was hard, but with each minute I started to get much happier because I finally get to play more than five to 10 minutes a game,” said Gortat.

The Suns center is quickly trying to assert himself as a leader on his new team.

“I’m trying to be more vocal and help other players out telling them where they’re supposed to be,” said Gortat.

The Suns defense has shown signs of improvement in the past two games as they have limited their opponents to less than 40 points in the first half and held them to 40 percent shooting.

Gortat believes the team is on the right track.

“We’ve made some adjustments at practice. The most important thing is we have accomplished our system and rotations on defense. The next five to 10 games we’re going to be really good,” said Gortat.