Preview: Suns vs Cavs

LeBron James played 43 minutes last night in the Cavs loss to the Mavs. He had an "off" night "only" putting up 23 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds. I really wish the Cavs would have beaten the Mavs and not just for the whole Western Conference rivals thing. Now they are going to come to Phoenix tonight pissed-off and looking to "right the ship".

For fans of the game that should make for a more interesting and exciting contest. For fans of the Suns it's just one more reason to be mad at Dallas.

When the Suns last played the Cavs in early December the defensive game plan was "all eyes on LeBron" which meant everyone else went ballistic and torched Phoenix. It will be interesting to see which way Gentry goes tonight.

Against Howard the Suns brought help and sent him to the line which resulted in 38 three point attempts for the Magic. Fortunately, they were cold and the Suns won. Against the Spurs, the Suns went the other way and stayed home on the shooters and left Duncan on an island and he went off for 34 points. The Suns won that game too.

So which way would you go? Do you leave poor Grant and Jared to deal with LeBron 1:1 and try and tire him out as the game goes on or do you bring help and hope the rest of the Cavs on the road aren't shooting the ball well?

I think I lean towards staying home and limiting LeBron's assists even if that means he drops 25 in the first half. Make him play, and as much as you can, earn those points and then hopefully he tires late in the game so if you do have to bring help his mates aren't in any kind of rhythm.

More importantly will be the Suns offense against the Cavs defense that is 6th in the league in DRtg (103.3) and 2nd in opponents' FG% (.433).

At practice Sunday, Grant Hill and Coach Gentry both stressed the need for the Suns to play up tempo "Suns basketball". With Shaq on the floor (he played 17 horrible minutes in Dallas last night) it is even more important.

As we've seen over the past few weeks, there's really no team that can stop the Suns when they are moving the ball, moving off the ball and playing fast and with confidence. At home, Phoenix is shooting a torrid 47.5% from three and scoring almost 13 more points per game.

With a day off yesterday and the focus the team will have for this game, I am liking our chances for a nice Monday night ending.

Game and Other Links:

  • Cavaliers vs Suns coverage
  • Cavaliers vs Suns preview
  • Fear The Sword
  • azcentral.com blogs - Coro's Suns dish - PaulCoro - Suns haven't lost at home since...
    The team most qualified to snap the Suns' 19-game home winning streak just might be the last team to beat the Suns at US Airways Center. You remember, right? March 12. Suns pull within two, 97-95. Richardson is alone and goes for the 360-degree dunk. James chases him down and blocks (fouls) it. Sasha Pavlovic hits a 3-pointer, one of Cleveland's 17, at the other end and the Suns wind up losing. James' 34 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds in that game was good for his first win in Phoenix.
  • The Official Phoenix Suns Blog " Blog Archive " Day in the Life of a GM: At the Office
    The league has done a good job of giving teams the ability to communicate with them directly when it comes to the officiating. We frequently use a website where you can link up and send a disputed play into the league office, and they always send us a response immediately. Between issues like that or conversations with agents or other general managers, there’s a ton of correspondence in this job. I’m on the phone and on my computer all day.
  • Is Barbosa's injury a blessing in disguise?| Valley of the Suns
    It is easy to play the "what if" game, but given Barbosa hadn’t gone down with the ankle injury, the Dallas game, Denver game and Portland game could have all easily been victories. But as Nash said, Dragic has been given more time to flourish and has done exactly that.
  • KTAR.com - Suns improving with each game
    Stoudemire said after a long offseason that included very little basketball, his timing was a little off. "At the start of the season my timing was somewhat off, when the ball goes up I was always a second late or a step late on the boards," he said, "but I think just playing and getting experience back on the basketball court my timing is slowly coming back and I can start to anticipate where the ball is going to be."
  • Cavaliers Preview Game #29: Cavs at Suns | WaitingForNextYear
    It would be nice to be heading into this game with some confidence after taking care of business in Dallas, but as is routinely the case with this years team, they got lazy and careless on offense and let a chance to get a big road win slip away. So now, with an insanely difficult matchup in Los Angeles on Christmas Day looming on the horizon (not to mention a game against the Kings, who are excellent at home), the Cavaliers instead face a must win game if they want any chance of salvaging their pride on this road trip.

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