Although training camp officially began on Tuesday, this was business as usual for the Suns squad as most of the team had chosen to work together all summer.
They made the road trip up to Flagstaff on Monday and took to the court for their 2017 Training Camp on Tuesday morning.
“It felt good,” Devin Booker said. “Put in a couple plays. Ran a lot of five-on-zero. Just getting a feel for each other. Went over spacing. Things that we just need to learn as a team.”
After working on individual player development last year, team strategy became the main focus for this year according to Head Coach Earl Watson.
“Tone is intensity, but also a lot of teaching,” Watson said. “It’ll be a little different from last year. Just bringing it all together. Taking our youthful development and taking them a step further with team strategy.”
The dedication to building team chemistry has been displayed all summer with the players staying in town, hitting the gym and working through their off-season training together.
“We had a group of guys who committed an entire offseason to living in Phoenix,” Watson said. “Norm in the NBA is you go home. Wherever home is, you leave that NBA city and you comeback maybe a week before training camp if not the weekend of.”
Booker has seen the work ethic of his teammates all summer and was pleased with the first day of training camp.
“Everyone’s been putting the work in. Everyone’s been being a real professional, taking it serious. I think that’s the first step in becoming a winning team.
The new players in the organization may need some time to get used to the elevation change. Coming from Phoenix at just 1,086 feet to Flagstaff’s 6,910 feet adds an extra element to the teams training.
“You can definitely feel the altitude up here,” Josh Jackson said. “When we got up here yesterday I immediately felt it without even getting up and down the court.”
The Suns will continue training camp for the remainder of the week and wrap it all up with an all-team scrimmage Friday night in Prescott.