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Banks still adjusting to Suns’ style

The Arizona Republic


The Arizona Republic

PHOENIX – From the outside, playing in the Phoenix Suns’ system must look simple and fun.

But Marcus Banks is discovering, just as Raja Bell did a year ago, that the adjustment isn’t as easy as it looks.

Through four preseason games, Banks is shooting 25.9 percent. More important, he hasn’t yet gotten the hang of the Suns’ free-flowing, always-on-the-move attack.

When players and the ball move, it’s magic. When they stop, not so good.

“It’s an adjustment coming from a really, really structured offense (in Minnesota) – ‘do this, do this, do that’ – it’s kind of hard when all of a sudden you have freedom,” Banks said. “You question yourself. ‘Should I or should I not?’ Here, a bad shot is a shot you don’t take.”

He said Bell and other teammates have told him to remain patient – and keep shooting, of course.

“Those guys are really supportive,” he said. “They tell me, ‘Keep playing. Everything’s going to come. We went through the same thing.’ It’s just (a matter of) getting comfortable, really.”

Banks met with coach Mike D’Antoni before Monday’s practice, and the message was similar.

“He’s struggled up to now,” D’Antoni said. “I think it’s kind of normal. As a point guard, he’s got to be careful sitting over there watching (starter) Steve Nash for six minutes, going in and saying, ‘Ooh, I’ll do what Steve does.’

“Well, he’s got to be Marcus Banks. I think we learned that from Leandro (Barbosa), saying, ‘Leandro, you’ve got to learn something from Steve.’ Guess what? He didn’t learn anything. In fact, it screws his game up.”

So his advice to Banks?

“Just go full speed, don’t worry about making mistakes,” D’Antoni said. “Don’t worry about setting other guys up. Just play your game. When he figures that out, he’ll be fine. And we think he will.”

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