After missing the playoffs last year, the Phoenix Suns made some big offseason moves in an effort to return to the status of a postseason team. Some people, including myself, said that nothing the Suns could do would be enough to make up for the loss of Steve Nash and their lack of talent all throughout the roster.
A quarter of the way through the season and it looks like that might be the case. The Suns floated around .500 for a while but are currently on a seven-game losing skid, sitting at 7-15 on the year.
Despite the poor showing lately, Suns management does not seem to think the problem is with the coaching staff. Team owner Robert Sarver has backed head coach Alvin Gentry, saying Gentry’s job is safe.
We've got confidence in our coaching staff and we're not considering making changes," Sarver said. “It's still early in the season. We're playing worse than our talent, and a lot of that has to do with confidence. It's up to the coaches and players to start playing better and to get that swagger back and turn things around. Things can turn quickly in this league.
They’ are going to have to turn around quickly. The Suns cannot afford to drop many more games in a Western Conference where anything below .500 means you miss out on the playoffs.
I like the Suns sticking with Gentry because I agree with Sarver that the problem is not in the coaching staff. The Suns may need a couple years of trading for talent and high draft picks before they are ready to be truly competitive again. Making a coaching change is not going to help the team at this point. If anything, it will just add to the chaos surrounding the team at the moment.
Gentry proved he is capable of succeeding with a talented team when he took the Suns to the Western Conference Finals in 2010. Now without any real All-Stars, the team is floundering. It is really up to the management to make a team that can win. That may take some time, but it is certainly a possibility.