EMPIRE OF THE SUNS

Suns using long break till season opener as an extra training camp

Oct 16, 2019, 4:42 PM | Updated: 7:26 pm
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) and forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (3) battle for the rebound durin...

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) and forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (3) battle for the rebound during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — In the last three seasons, the Phoenix Suns have had seven, five and five days from the last preseason game until the season opener.

This year, it’s at an unusual nine, leaving the Suns almost too much time until the game.

The grind of a regular season includes staying in “game shape” with the proper mentality as well, and that’s something players can quickly fall out of. Remember, teams are traditionally playing games every 2-3 days. The All-Star break is the only gap like this that exists in the regular season, and that’s in February when everyone needs that time to recover and rest.

So, with this lull, head coach Monty Williams knew they’d have to have a specific plan in place for how to use the time.

“We’re trying to build conditioning but be smart, so we’re gonna go 5-on-5. Today was rather medium,” Williams said after practice on Wednesday. “Tomorrow will be more scrimmage and game-like, and then we’ll just use that same model.

“Maybe have an off-day and then do the same thing. Have a low, medium (and) high day to get ready for the season and then right before opening night will be an execution, non-contact day so we can go into opening night fresh and strong.”

Devin Booker phrased it as sort of an extra training camp and Williams agreed with that label.

“When we planned the season and saw this opportunity, you can look at it two ways,” Williams said.

The head coach said this particular stretch before the opener is “important” because he’s been purposefully not showing certain parts of the offense and there are a few more decisions left in the rotation for him to make choices on.

Turning things up a bit more than usual and having contact-oriented practices gives him that, as he called it, the opportunity to do so.

Penguin Air

Penguin Air

Empire of the Suns

Jae Crowder #99, Chris Paul #3, Mikal Bridges #25 and Cameron Payne #15 of the Phoenix Suns react d...
Kellan Olson

Initial impressions, observations from Phoenix Suns’ 2022-23 schedule

A few areas of the Phoenix Suns' 82-game schedule we can spotlight to keep an eye on throughout the regular season.
1 day ago
Ish Wainright #12 of the Phoenix Suns during the second half of Game Five of the Western Conference...
Kellan Olson

Ish Wainright returns to Phoenix Suns on 2-way contract, per report

The Phoenix Suns have agreed to a two-way contract with forward Ish Wainright, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
15 days ago
(Twitter photo/@KellanOlson)...
Kellan Olson

Cam Johnson’s connection to Valley strengthens with 3-on-3 tournament

The Phoenix Suns' Cam Johnson can confidently call the Valley his second home and keeps finding ways to connect to the community.
19 days ago
Cameron Johnson #23 of the Phoenix Suns reacts after hitting a three-point shot against the New Orl...
Kellan Olson

Suns’ Cam Johnson hears trade rumors, focused on offseason growth

Phoenix Suns wing Cam Johnson hears the noise of trade rumors this summer and understands the business side of the NBA.
19 days ago
Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on during the second half of the Eastern Conference 2022...
Kellan Olson

Will Phoenix Suns abandon team-building principles to land Kevin Durant?

The Phoenix Suns must decide how badly they want Kevin Durant and how long they are willing to wait to make it happen.
21 days ago
Tyson Carter #11 of the Phoenix Suns is fouled as he drives to the basket by Craig Sword #32 of the...
Kellan Olson

Summer Suns wrap up play in Las Vegas with win over Pacers

Phoenix Suns basketball came to a close this summer with an 84-69 win in Summer League play over the Indiana Pacers.
1 month ago
Suns using long break till season opener as an extra training camp