PHOENIX — Shootaround Friday looked very much liked shootaround Wednesday: Head coach Jeff Hornacek and his staff getting the players ready for that evening’s game.
No one was missing. No one needed introducing.
The group that had beaten Boston Wednesday would be the same group to play San Antonio Friday.
“It’s great that the team stays the way it is and we just keep going,” Hornacek said.
Leading up to Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, several names had been attached to the Suns, but none of them stuck.
“We’re happy with our guys. Anything that came up, nothing was better than what we have,” Hornacek explained.
The rumor mill spitted out a number of names, as is the case every year leading up to the trade deadline, but the Suns decided to stand pat. They didn’t need a Brandon Bass, Luol Deng, Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill, Ersan Ilyasova, Zach Randolph or Thaddeus Young.
No, all the names that mattered already had Suns’ uniforms.
“We all wanted to be together and see where we could take this thing and keep fighting together,” P.J. Tucker said. “I think when you start something like this it becomes a brotherhood, fighting together; coming from the bottom together, so to keep fighting together is important.”
Hornacek admitted the team’s chemistry played a factor in the Suns staying off the transactions page.
Why mess with a good thing?
The Suns are 32-21; their best start through 53 games since 2007-08 (37-16) and sit sixth in the Western Conference.
“We’ve gotten this far with our roster, so why would we change it,” Tucker asked. “If they would’ve done something then business decisions are business decisions, but for us, as a team, to be together still is definitely what we wanted.”
The Suns still could add an available free agent for the stretch run, but it appears the more likely addition coming is the return of Eric Bledsoe.
“He’s itching to go,” Hornacek said of his starting point guard who continues to make progress in his knee rehabilitation. Bledsoe has yet to resume practicing, however.
“When he comes back it’s going to be great,” Hornacek said. “It gives us another weapon. We look forward to that day.
In the meantime, the San Antonio Spurs wait, followed by the Houston Rockets on Sunday.
“Now the focus comes,” Hornacek said. “We’ve got a lot of basketball left. We got to continue to lay it out there every night.”