Phoenix Suns coach Hornacek: It’s about defense for Gerald Green

Feb 3, 2015, 11:05 PM | Updated: 11:05 pm
LISTEN: Jeff Hornacek, Suns head coach

Gerald Green is one of the most dynamic scorers on the Phoenix Suns, someone who can come off the bench and light it up from three-point range or inside the arc.

But over the Suns’ last four games, he has seen a total of just 30 minutes, including a DNP-Coach’s decision against Chicago last Friday and just three minutes of action Monday night against Memphis.

In all, the 20.9 minutes per game Green is seeing is a significant drop from the 28.4 he logged last season, when he set career highs in multiple categories.

When asked about Green’s playing time, or lack of, Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said it has nothing to do with his ability to score.

“I think the biggest thing is defense,” Hornacek told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday. “You know, we’re getting these games, we need to focus on the defensive end the whole game.

“It just seems that, when he’s scoring it’s great because he scores 15, but a lot of times we feel he’s given up 15, and we need to balance where he’s scoring his 10 or 15 for us and then he’s giving up only seven or eight.”

It’s true, Green has never been known to be a great defender. Though 6-foot-8 and athletic as anyone in the league, it’s just never been his strength. Green is a scorer, plain and simple, and that’s what he gets paid to do.

But Green hasn’t really been piling up the points, either, and because of that there just hasn’t been reason enough to put him on the floor.

“Especially recently, his shooting percentage hasn’t been great so we’ve got to try to find the balance where he can be out on the court and help us because he’s a big part of our team.”

Phoenix Suns

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