Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns: Why Elston Turner Will Improve Steve Nash & the Suns Defense

Former Rick Adelman assistant, Elston Turner, has been hired to coach the Suns' defense. Photo Courtesy of
Former Rick Adelman assistant, Elston Turner, has been hired to coach the Suns' defense. Photo Courtesy of
Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IJuly 14, 2011

The Phoenix Suns have hired former Sacramento and Houston assistant coach, Elston Turner, to take over defensive duties for the team, which ranked 26th in scoring defense and last in rebounding.

Turner will essentially be the Suns' "defensive coordinator," as mentioned earlier by head coach Alvin Gentry, leading the team through its defensive preparation and calling the shots for for the Suns defensively.

The Arizona Republic's Paul Coro reported earlier that Turner is confident with some of the pieces already present in Phoenix.

According to Coro, Turner believes that center Marcin Gortat can be a solid defensive presence at the rim for the Suns, and that 37-year-old Steve Nash can become a "great team defender."

Though the Turner hiring does not signal a drastic personnel change in the desert, it is reassuring to a fan base that saw opponents have their way with the Suns offensively in 2010-2011.

If nothing else comes of the addition, Turner will at least be the single teaching voice for the Suns' defense, giving them a consistent approach to take from training camp through the regular season and possibly the playoffs.

Also, many fans forget that the Phoenix front office nearly hired Elston Turner as head coach of the Suns back in 2008, instead hiring another defensive-minded coach, Terry Porter, who was fired in 2009.

According to Coro, Turner will meet with Gentry soon to discuss defensive plans for the Suns, who have an untouchable ceiling defensively.

Patrick Clarke is a Featured Columnist for the Phoenix Suns. Follow on Twitter @_Pat_Clarke




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