With the NBA preseason now behind them, the Phoenix Suns are now making final preparations for the regular season opener against the Golden State Warriors on Halloween night.
The 2012-2013 roster, for the time being, consists of 15 players, nine of which are new acquisitions this season.
“I think they’re ready to play, and play for real,” head coach Alvin Gentry said after practice on Sunday. “It’s kind of one of those situations, you always think you could use a little more time, but I also think everybody is pretty anxious to start playing.”
With the departure of long-time Suns Steve Nash and Grant Hill this offseason, Phoenix had to decide whether to retool yet still remain competitive or completely overhaul the roster for the future; they did a little bit of both.
Between July 15 and July 20 the front office ventured out and signed Luis Scola, Goran Dragic and the player they are hoping to be the new face of the franchise, Michael Beasley.
“I feel like we’ve got good chemistry, not great. We’re still feeling each other out,” said Beasley when asked about how well the team has meshed. “I feel like a couple real games will do the trick.”
Beasley, who averaged 12.7 points per game and shot 56% from behind the arc in the preseason, is still adjusting to being the go-to guy on the team. A role he hasn’t been in for a whole season since his time at Kansas State in college.
When asked if the ball should be in his hands in crucial situations the Suns staring small forward said “ideally, in my mind, but you have to keep it in the hot hand. I feel like overall, it’d probably be me.”
As a career 15.1 point, 5.6 rebound a night player, Beasley has been challenged by the coaching staff to be the No. 1 option on this team, likely meaning he will have to go above and beyond his professional averages.
The other new go-to guy, Luis Scola, is entering his sixth NBA season and adjusting to the second team in his career after spending his first five seasons in Houston.
With the Rockets, Scola shared the court with Dragic last season, but the rest of the faces here in the orange and purple are new to him as teammates.
Fresh off the practice floor the Argentinean national was asked if the team, with so many new players, is ready for the season.
“Until Wednesday comes, we never know,” said Scola.”You always get the feeling that you’re not ready, you need more work, and that’s how we are right now.
“I think it’s somehow normal, every team kind of panics before the season starts. Hopefully it’s just panic and when Wednesday comes we’ll be ready to play.”
The Suns tip-off the 2012-2013 season at home in U.S. Airways Center on Wednesday at 7 p.m. against the Warriors.