Jam-packed schedule will challenge Suns

Dec 6, 2011, 6:17 PM | Updated: 6:32 pm

The NBA lockout-shortened season will put the character, chemistry and cohesiveness of the Phoenix Suns to the test.

Team leader and face of the franchise Steve Nash believes he’s prepared to welcome the challenge.

“I mean I think everyone’s going to be leery of it,” said Nash. “It’s going to be brutal. But, I feel in great shape and I am hoping to be able to cope with it as well as anybody.”

The NBA is jam-packing 66 games into four short months. The Suns will have to battle the wear and tear of having games on back-to-back nights 17 times and games three nights in a row on two occasions this upcoming season.

While the players are itching to get their season underway, there are no illusions about the fatigue factor and the adjustment all teams will be forced to make.

“It’s going to be a challenge for everybody,” added veteran free agent forward Grant Hill. “It will be interesting to see how teams deal with it and what teams sort of separate themselves from the rest.”

Leadership, poise and patience will all play a role in the Suns efforts to pull away from their rivals. So will dedication and commitment.

And, while a period of fine tuning and tweaking is to be expected, one thing is certain: the players haven’t lost their sense of humor.

“It’s going to be tough,” said center Marcin Gortat. “But, I’d rather do that than sit at home for six months and do nothing. Trust me.”

All joking aside, the sight of Nash and Co. lacing up their sneaks and getting back down to business on the court will be a welcome one indeed.

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Jam-packed schedule will challenge Suns