"I know the type of guy Goran is," Hornacek said. "These guys tell me he wants to go all the time. He wants to practice. I went into it saying, 'Goran, let me know if you feel like you're getting a little tired or something. We'll try to keep you out a little bit.' We'll just communicate and figure that out."
Bledsoe and the rest of the backcourt are trying to mesh and Hornacek wants his guards to apply pressure on defense before distributing the ball or taking shots. He feels it will benefit the shooters in getting "more open looks" in transition. Bledsoe played under All-Star Chris Paul and averaged 8.5 points, 3.1 assists, three rebounds and 1.4 steals per game mainly coming off the bench. Now he gets his chance to flap his wings as a full-time starter.
BENCH: Hornacek has inexperience on the bench and promising big men anxious to get the season going. Len was Phoenix's top draft pick and is learning the professional game quickly and has impressed so far during camp. Len has a solid work ethic and Hornacek has taken notice, saying: "I think he's doing a great job of playing hard. He's trying to listen to what we're doing. He's asking the coaches questions. We forget sometimes how young he is and things that he has to learn." Len will share time with Miles Plumlee, Marcus Morris, Channing Frye and Slava Kravtsov.
Goodwin is another rookie who has made an impact from the jump and wants to be great. He's a hard worker with tremendous upside. Meanwhile, Green played an integral role with the Pacers before coming to Phoenix and hopes to be a part of the Suns' rebuilding mode. Some other options off the pine for Hornacek are guards Marshall, Dionte Christmas, Shannon Brown and Ish Smith.
COACHING: Hornacek was respected around the league when he played 14 years in the NBA and built the kind of reputation the Suns needed to start anew.
"I'm so proud and excited for him. This just helps show that good things happen to good people," former teammate and Hall of Famer Karl Malone said. "I was lucky enough to get to know both Jeff and his family during our time in Utah, and am happy to see him getting a chance to coach in the place where his playing career started."
Keep an eye out for the guard play this season for Phoenix, which should create more opportunities both inside and outside the perimeter. Jerry Sichting, Mike Longabardi, Kenny Gattison and Mark West are assistants.
OUTLOOK: The Suns are still a work in progress. Dragic and Gortat will carry the load this season and the Suns will get a good look at some of their younger additions, including both Len and Goodwin. It will be interesting to see how Dragic and Bledsoe co-exist in the backcourt and how the other newcomers adjust. It will take a few years, perhaps some more deals and wise drafting to get Phoenix back on the map because right now the team is looking at another last-place finish in the Pacific and about 25 wins.