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Suns' Alvin Gentry says Clippers need time to jell

The former Clippers coach says it will take a new time for the team, which added nine new players this season, to reach its potential.

March 28, 2012|By Broderick Turner
  • Former Clippers coach and Phoenix Suns Coach Alvin Gentry says the Clippers are a talented team.
Former Clippers coach and Phoenix Suns Coach Alvin Gentry says the Clippers… (Tony Gutierrez / Associated…)

From what Phoenix Suns Coach Alvin Gentry has observed from afar, the Clippers remain a team that can cause problems for opponents, despite a recent stretch in which L.A. lost three consecutive games and things seemed so dour in Clipperland.

In Gentry's eyes, the high expectations some hold for the Clippers need to be tempered because the team is going to take time to "jell and come together."

"I think they are a real talented team," he said before the game Wednesday. "I think just like anything else, everybody wanted this thing to just come together right away, and that doesn't happen.

"It's a process. I think they are going to be really, really good. I don't think there's anybody out there that's raising their hand to meet them in the playoffs, if that's what you are talking about."

Gentry said this even though the Suns came into the game Wednesday night with a 2-0 record against the Clippers.

The last time the Suns beat the Clippers here, they didn't play starters Steve Nash and Grant Hill, preferring to rest them during the second of three games in three nights.

Gentry, who coached the Clippers for two-plus seasons before he was fired during the middle of the 2002-03 season, talked about how the Clippers have been put together in quick fashion.

The team has nine new players this season.

Gentry said it still is going to take some time for Chris Paul and Caron Butler, two of the newcomers, to get adjusted to playing with Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Randy Foye, three of the six players who were on the team last season.

"I think they are real talented," Gentry said. "But I think everybody is jumping the gun as to where they should be. I think they are fine."

Consistency key for Bledsoe

There was a stretch of games in which Eric Bledsoe provided the Clippers with energy off the bench. Bledsoe, a second-year point guard, could be counted on for his good defense, for pushing the ball on the fastbreak, for causing havoc.

But in recent games, he hasn't provided as much.

Coach Vinny Del Negro sees Bledsoe as a great athlete but said Bledsoe is still trying to find his complete game.

"He's got to be consistently managing the game with the second unit, in terms of getting us in the play sets, not turning the ball over, using his great athleticism to guard really well and run the second unit," Del Negro said. "That's a big part of our game right now, a big part of those stretches he has to manage for us."

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