Posted by Fran Blinebury
PHOENIX – Right now, Channing Frye wants the world to ignore the elephant standing in the room. Just pass the peanuts, please.
Never mind that Frye is now 1-for-20 in three games against the Lakers, that he’s missed 17 consecutive shots.
“I think you guys make a bigger deal out of it than I do,” said an angry Frye following Monday’s practice. “Shots just aren’t going in. All of them are good shots. I’m shooting the same way and it’s just not going in. It’s all basketball. Sometimes you may hit it the same and the ball just doesn’t go in the hoop.
“It’s not a story to write about. It’s kind of frustrating that we win a game and you guys talk about something negative again. For us, for me personally, I just need to continue focusing on what the team wants and just focusing on what’s really important and that’s playing defense again.”
Frye would not acknowledge what everyone inside US Airways Center and watching on TV saw – that he double-clutched and hesitated on his first open look at the basket in Game 3.
“J-Rich hit four in a row,” he said. “So I come in off the bench and if somebody’s hit four in a row, aren’t you going to look for him? Hey, so take that one.
“Now I’m getting upset because – I usually never get upset – but we played so hard and everybody left their heart out on the court and we’re just gonna talk about something little like this. It just kinda amazes me.”
Frye can spin it any way he wants, but even for a guy who grew up in the Arizona desert, he’s feeling the heat. There’s no getting around it when one of your team’s best shooting is connecting at a 5-percent clip.
“We put him in. We try,” said coach Alvin Gentry. “Like I told him, when he’s got open shots, he’s got to shoot them. It’s like a baseball player really. You can’t talk a guy out of a slump. He’s got to be able to shoot himself or bat himself out of that.
“Channing works on it. He comes in here and he stays around. He’s worked on it. We still stick him out there thinking that his first one and all of his shots are gonna go in. We’ve got to continue to do that.
“He did (hesitate). That’s what he’s got to get through. We’ve got to try to put him in a position where the first one can be a post-up or something closer to the basket. I think it helps when the ball goes in.”
Gentry even ordered Frye to take a technical free throw.
“Just to have him shoot it and see the ball go through the basket might help,” Gentry said.
It’s at the point where Frye is now turning to look at his coach on the bench after each ensuing miss.
“I know,” Gentry said. “I told him he’s just got to continue to play. But I did make it a point to tell him that passing on an open shot hurts us as much as a bad shot.”
Elephant? What elephant? Frye vows to keep right on firing away.
“It’s just one of those things,” he said. “It’s not going in. It’s gonna go in tomorrow though, I’m gonna tell you that.”