Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  By RANDY HILL  |  Last updated 8/6/13
Part of the Phoenix Suns next attempt at a culture change seems to focus on getting back to a previous culture. Since returning to town, Coach Jeff Hornacek has emphasized playing at a fast tempo and resurrecting that prolific level of offensive production. It was how Hornacek worked in a Suns uniform under Cotton Fitzsimmons and what Phoenix fans became familiar with during the halcyon days of Mike DAntoni. In a recent interview with Bright Side of the Suns, Hornacek said the target number for per-game scoring is 103 points. Not including the Miami Heat (at 102.9), only four NBA teams reached that level last season. So, without a major influx of scoring punch -- despite the exciting new additions -- this summer, it will be tricky for the Suns to rise to 103 from the 95.2 they managed last season. To better understand how they might accomplish this going (more swiftly) forward, we can look at what the Suns did and didnt do last season. Well, they didnt exactly walk the ball down court, checking in with the ninth-quickest pace in the league. Unfortunately, they were 29th in offensive efficiency, 21st in points per game and a frosty 28th in 3-point accuracy. With Jared Dudley out and Channing Fryes return still uncertain, newcomer Caron Butler looms as the leading deep threat for the coming season. For fans of lottery positioning, thats pretty encouraging. Although their generally inept defense did create enough opponent turnovers to give them the rank of seventh, they didnt convert these into points at a high rate. Overall, the Suns were only 14th in their own fast-break points per game and an equally mediocre 13th in fast-break efficiency. Defensively, Phoenix didnt generate many transition opportunities off of long rebounds; the Suns were last in 3-point percentage defense but surrendered the fourth-fewest attempts. Perhaps teams didnt need to squeeze off perimeter shots because the Suns were an obliging 28th in allowing points in the paint (45.6 per game). Anyway, a major factor in playing at a quick tempo is creating a focus and awareness during practice. While watching the Suns summer league team, it was obvious that Hornacek has emphasized a rapid turnaround after opponent field goals and using the kick-ahead pass to speed up the transition process after defensive rebounds. When Goran Dragic and newcomer Eric Bledsoe hit the floor for training camp, the real work toward playing fast will begin. STYLE POINTS While hoping to score with a new-look approach to playing, the Suns are guaranteed to have a different appearance from another perspective. The team has targeted Aug. 15 (Scottsdale Fashion Square) for a runway-type event to unveil new uniforms. Models will include present and past Suns players. By the way, according to a tweet from equipment manager Jay Gaspar, Bledsoe (No. 2), Butler (No. 3) and rookie center Alex Len (No. 21) have chosen digits for their new duds. NATIONS WIDE One of the former Suns scheduled to participate in the new-uniform fashion show is TV analyst Eddie Johnson. But for the first week in August, EJ was in his now-customary role of coach during the prestigious Adidas Nations tournament. Adidas Nations brings together some of the top high-school-age players in the world and creates a competition witnessed by some of the sports most influential movers and shakers. Another coach in last weeks Adidas event at Garden Grove, Calif. was Ralph Sampson, the Hall of Famer who spent last season as an assistant coach with the Suns. MORE NATIONS During last weekends alleged friendly vs. Turkey, Dragic who stars for the Slovenian national team was ejected after initiating a scuffle during the games opening moments. Dragics combatant in this skirmish was Dogus Balbay, who played point guard at the University of Texas. Balbay, one of the best on-ball defenders in the nation as a Longhorn, seemed to get under The Dragons scales early. Slovenia will be the host nation for the upcoming Eurobasket tournament. Suns center Marcin Gortat reportedly is still having some discomfort in the foot that ended his NBA season prematurely and is uncertain about his participation as the star attraction for Team Poland.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Florida's Chiozza sends Wisconsin home on incredible buzzer-beater

LaVar Ball gets Crying Jordan, meme treatment after UCLA loss

Celtics upset Suns tried to pad Devin Booker’s stats

Five teams that may be interested in Blake Griffin this summer

Report: Tony Romo ‘believes it’s Texans or retirement’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Clay Matthews Sr. passes away at 88

WWE’s Kane is inching toward running for mayor in Tennessee

Jung Ho Kang denied visa for DUI, may miss 2017 MLB season

Jets not ready to say Josh McCown will be starter

Sens owner on Sidney Crosby: He’s 'a whiner' and should be suspended for Methot slash

Report: Griffin could be growing more open to leaving Clippers

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker