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As The Suns Reach The All-Star Break, Monty Williams Has To Find Consistency in New Rotation

© Vincent Carchietta- USA TODAY Sports

As the Phoenix Suns reach the All-Star break, they finished the last 15 games they played going 11-4 and sitting 32-28 which is good for 5th in the Western Conference with Kevin Durant and Cameron Payne waiting in the wings.

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Unfortunately, a not-so-great defensive 3rd quarter last night propelled the Los Angeles Clippers to defeat the Suns 116-107, and head coach Monty Williams alluded to the fact that he felt like his team didn’t move the ball as much as they have been all season.

“I don’t think we played our style consistently tonight. The ball didn’t move the way that it has been moving and that hurt us,” Williams said after the loss. “And then we had some costly turnovers, so you want to win going into the break but we’ve been playing pretty good basketball these last few weeks”

Speaking of these last few weeks, the Phoenix Suns roster took a big turn to what it is now. They had young developmental players in Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson taking the next step and now they’re no longer with the team after the Suns traded them for Durant and rotational player T.J. Warren.

Durant hasn’t played in a month and a half due to a right knee sprain he suffered. However, Warren made his debut this past Tuesday against the Kings and has played in two straight games with the team. The Suns also welcomed new veteran guard Terrence Ross after his buyout with the Magic.

Despite these changes, the Suns have put together a good stretch of games to get them back at the top of the Western Conference. At the same time, with these changes in the lineup, coach Williams has been looking to plug in the right rotation to come in for the starters.

Williams alluded to this last night after the loss as another case for why there wasn’t much consistency during spurts of the game. “I thought from my perspective, I played too many guys tonight. It’s hard for guys to get a rhythm when you’re playing that many guys and I got to settle on a rotation so that guys can get used to playing with each other.

What last night’s loss told us, is that Williams has got to figure out a consistent flow for his bench to put his players in better positions to succeed so that his players can play with better rhythm on the floor. This stuff usually takes time when you’re propelling a new rotational roster of players and that’s exactly what Williams was doing last night.

“We were just searching for combinations that could allow us to get a rhythm. I didn’t give T.J. (Warren) enough of a run, D Lee (Damien Lee) got in later than he typically does, Biz (Bismack Biyombo), and Jock (Landale) back and forth. I got to settle on like I said, about a nine-and-a-half-man group, so that we can get a good team rhythm going forward.”

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With Cameron Payne and Kevin Durant expected to come back in the fold after the all-star break next week, it’ll give coach Williams time to see which 9-man rotation he wants to use consistently going into different games.

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