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Suns look to move on from rough preseason

PHOENIX — Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said no one gives
out trophies for preseason victories.

It’s a good thing he’s right, because the Suns would have
nothing to show for the work they’ve put in so far this
season.

Phoenix lost its only two preseason games — both to the
Denver Nuggets — by scores of 127-110 and 110-85.
Needless to say, the hope is the scores are not indicative
of the season to come.

“If we would have played extremely well and everything
would have gone right, we would have said that it doesn’t
meany anything,” Gentry said of the losses. “You know the
other thing is that there are some teams where the matchup
is not really good for you.”

That could be true. The Nuggets are deep and athletic,
something the Suns used to be. Gentry’s team offering
little resistance over the last two games could be a sign
that Phoenix won’t be very good, or, maybe, that they’re
just not on Denver’s level.

“I still think that we have enough players, we have enough
veteran guys here, that if we play to our potential we can
be a playoff team,” Gentry said. “But we’re going to have
to play to our potential.”

What a playing-at-their-potential team could actually
accomplish is a big question mark going into the season,
as the Suns don’t exactly have the look of an elite team,
even on a good day. Sure, Steve Nash and Grant Hill are
back, but they’re a little older now and surrounded by a
group that doesn’t exactly scream “championship caliber.”

But that’s not the important question, at least right now.
At this point the team just needs to improve, get to the
point where it is as good as it can be, regardless of just
how good that might be.

And, admittedly, Gentry thought his team would be a little
better now than it actually is.

“I did think that would be a little farther along from the
standpoint of being able to gel and things like that,” he
said, “but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way so we
have to continue to work at it.”