Open Gameday Thread - Suns vs Thunder

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Your Phoenix Suns



vs.
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Oklahoma City Thunder
16-12 3-28
6:00PM Mountain / 8:00 PM Eastern
TV: My45 HD 
Probable starters:
Steve Nash PG Russell Westbrook
JRich SG Desmond Mason
Grant Hill
SF Kevin Durant
Amare Stoudemire
PF Jeff Green
The Big Tweet C Joe Smith(?)

The Oklahoma City Thunder are 3 and 28. Dwell on that for a moment. They've played 31 games and lost 28 of them. They are 13 games under .500. On any given night they have less of a chance of getting win then Sarah Palin does of naming the permanent members of the security council. Or spelling U.N.

The funny thing is they shouldn't this bad. Should they? Unless...perhaps....their star franchise player is....wait for it...over rated.

Of course, there's another theory that I advanced on the pregame podcast with Joe the Blogger from Thunderguru.com. The real reason they only have 3 wins is that after a horrible start under the oppresive thumb of P.J. Carlisimoso they earned themselves such a reputation that teams are now afraid to lose to them.

That or perhaps karma. Anyway..

Imagine losing to the Thunder. Even if you are fairly crappy team yourself you might just earn a shoe thrown at your coach by a member of the local media during the post game press conference.

Suffice it to say, this game is a MUST WIN. With Shaq or without Shaq the

SUNS MUST NOT LOSE TO THE THUNDER

 

(which btw was exactly what Raptors blogger Cuzzy said before his team lost to the Thunder)

Let's just hope it doesn't take another late game Nashiracle (Nash + miracle) to prevent the Suns from becoming the fourth scalp on the Thunder's rather bare trophy wall. That would suck.

In today's post practice audio (provided by Sports 620 KTAR) we hear from

Shaq (still pissed about losing)

Coach Porter (cliche cliche bench ok cliche) and

JRich (we need to beat the crappy teams we are about to play and I am ok not getting as many shots as long as we win but if we are not winning they had better give me the damn ball)

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Here's some more notes direct from the intrepid KTAR radio reporter:

Suns practiced for an hour Sunday before heading to the airport for a 2-game, 2-day road trip---
at Oklahoma City Monday
at Memphis Tuesday

Oklahoma City and Memphis are a combined 13-and-48
in fact the Suns play 5 of their next 6 games against sub-500 teams (something Jason Richarson noted)

as of Sunday the Suns sit 8th in the Western Conference....a half-game back of Dallas

the flu is going around the Suns right now---
Goran Dragic missed the last two days of practice
Grant Hill practiced but is battling the flu

Shaquille O'Neal: does he play both games of this back-to-back set
he says "knowing Steve (Kerr) I'll probably go these two games" though Porter played coy saying "gametime decision"

a couple things to note---
1. Shaq sat out the first meeting vs. Oklahoma City (a day ahead of playing vs. Minnesota) and the Suns struggled winning, 99-98
2. the Suns have been off since Christmas and after this back-to-back won't play again until January 2nd so there is plenty of time to rest the Big Cactus

Shaq is still upset about the Spurs game....speaking for the first time about the Christmas Day loss he said the team made too many "mental mistakes" and the team has "got to get that killer instinct"....he feels they've given away 10 games already this season

J-Rich said he is getting more familiar with his role and he is just fine with being the 2nd, 3rd or maybe even the 4th option
before joining the Suns, Richardson had shot fewer than 14 times in only three games with Charlotte....he's already had fewer than 14 field goal attempts three times with the Suns---here are his shot attempts since joining the starting rotation:
vs. Knicks, 5 of 14
vs. Blazkers, 6 of 12
vs. Nuggets, 6 of 12
vs. Spurs, 4 of 9

Porter was asked about the Suns bench---it was non-existent vs. the Spurs (1 of 12 for 2 points)---but he said he isn't worried, "they just didn't make shots" referring to Matt Barnes and Leandro Barbosa....he also noted that the bench prior to Christmas had been playing well, he's right:
vs. Knicks, 19 points
vs. Blazers, 36 points
vs. Nuggets, 16 points

he also discussed Jared Dudley saying "at some point we're probably going to take a look at him"....Porter sees Dudley as a "4"

 

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