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Suns focused on single-game mentality over 8-game, 14-day sprint

Head coach Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns talks with Devin Booker #1 during the second half of the NBA game against the Orlando Magic at Talking Stick Resort Arena on January 10, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Magic 98-94. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns just hit the three-week mark of practices in Orlando, and that’s fitting because now they have to transition to more of an in-season approach.

That has to be specifically mentioned for the Suns because they have been going through intense and challenging practices, something that has reflected their play in the three scrimmage games.

With eight games in 14 days and the physical toll games put on the body anyway, head coach Monty Williams won’t be able to fit in those types of practices anymore. They have one day off in between games through to the last regular season game on Aug. 13, except for a back-to-back prior to the finale.

“We’re really going to have to lock in to the film sessions and walkthroughs and night-time shooting when we get a chance,” Williams said.

“The schedule is what it is. We can complain about it or we can look at what we get to do.”

Wing Mikal Bridges said it can be viewed as a tournament from college, where they know the run that’s required but can’t peer too far ahead.

“You don’t think about the end,” Bridges said. “You just think about one step at a time.”

All-Star shooting guard Devin Booker is not changing his mentality.

“I don’t think we’re looking at anything differently at all. We’re taking it one game at a time,” he said. “We’re coming in with one goal at a time and right now it’s the Wizards.”

But Bridges is aware that other teams could change their approach.

“Some teams who already clinched and are like 1, 2 seeds whatever, they can kind of do what they have to do,” Bridges said. “For us, every game means something for us. So we’ve got to go out there, set that tone and bring that energy to the first regular season game.”

That’s what the Suns have already been doing in those scrimmages, and Booker wants the same yappy energy he’s been getting out of his team the past few weeks.

“Our communication needs to stay where it’s at,” he said. “You can’t have that communication and the positive energy only when you’re winning games. You need that in the toughest times possible — when teams go on runs, that’s when we need each other most.”


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