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Suns’ Jeff Hornacek: ‘Nobody is a quitter on this team’

Phoenix Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek calls a play for his team as they played the Indiana Pacers during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

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The Phoenix Suns finished 0-3 on their recent road trip and fell to 13-29 on the season, but head coach Jeff Hornacek remains focused on his team’s improvement.

“On a day-to-day basis, we’re just trying to get these guys better, trying to get them to work hard whether its improvement for the next game or 10 games down the road,” Hornacek told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday. “This is the time of year where a lot of teams are in a laid-back mode, halfway into the season they’re trying not to practice as much, and we’re at the opposite of that.”

Re-signing Brandon Knight in the offseason and adding veteran center Tyson Chandler to solidify Phoenix’s defensive front line led to increased playoff aspirations.

But since the Suns lost Eric Bledsoe to a torn meniscus, the team is 1-9 and now has one of the worst records in the league. Hornacek understands how simple it would be to just give up.

“It’s easy to quit and say it is what it is, we’re struggling, we’re done, we’re out of it, but nobody is a quitter on this team,” Hornacek said. “None of our guys are quitting, after the practice we had (Monday), if they were quitters they would’ve left halfway through it. They didn’t, they kept going and they were enthusiastic.”

The Suns’ next three opponents — the Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs and Atlanta Hawks — are current playoff teams, but Hornacek hopes their “keep fighting” mantra continues to fuel the team on the court.

“These guys want to improve, they know it’s been a struggle,” Hornacek said. “It’s just keep fighting and trying to improve.”


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