Suns may change starting lineup

Jan 6, 2012, 1:56 AM | Updated: 2:04 am

Teams can’t win games in the first quarter but they can certainly lose games in the first quarter.

The Suns have lost the first quarter four times in their first six games, getting outscored 148-132.

They are the only team in the league yet to hold a lead after the first twelve minutes of action. That distinction has head coach Alvin Gentry thinking of changing what five players he sends out onto the floor to begin games.

“That’s under consideration,” he said without mentioning anyone specific after practice Thursday. The starting unit of Steve Nash, Jared Dudley, Grant Hill, Channing Frye and Marcin Gortat has produced a 2-4 record.

The Suns average 22 points in the first quarter, 22nd-best in the NBA.

Historically, the Suns have been a team that jumps out of the gates quicker than everyone else, ranking at the top or near the top in first quarter points scored in each of the last seven seasons:
2010-11 26.6 pts
2009-10 28.4*
2008-09 28.3*
2007-08 28.9*
2006-07 27.6
2005-06 27.8*
2004-05 28.4*
*led league

The slow starts are feeding an offense that finds itself ranked in the bottom third in points per game (91.3).

“At the end of the day you have to put the ball in the basket and that’s what we haven’t been able to do,” Gentry said.

Added Nash, “It’s apparent we have work to do offensively.”

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