Early Game Preview: Phoenix Suns at Indiana Pacers

What two Suns in this picture no longer wear the Purple and Orange? Hint: they don't have the ball in their hands. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Why should I lie, Suns fans? I have little faith that many of you realize this game gets underway at 10 A.M. AZ time tomorrow morning. Whether you are hungover, praying to Jesus or other, you may not remember that the Aaron Brooks debut as a Sun will occur tomorrow, early.

The Suns play game 2 of an East Coast roadie against a Pacer squad that nearly made a deal at the deadline, but did not. Interestingly enough, there are many conflicting reports as to what happened as they attempted to move Josh McRoberts to Memphis for O.J. Mayo. Thank goodness McRoberts has no hard feelings, otherwise, I'd consider him an excellent candidate to organize a walkout, Pistons style.

Nevertheless, the Pacers are fresh off a loss against the Sloanless, Deronless Jazz. The Pacer bench was particularly crappy in that contest. The combination of Hansborough, Jones, Foster, Price and George went 6-32. Potential Master of the Obvious Club Member Danny Granger stated:  

"We couldn't make shots, we couldn't rebound. We got kicked on the boards, so our overall rating for the game would be a total F."

Indeed, Danny, an F sounds accurate when you don't score or rebound.  We have room for you in the AZ chapter of Obvious Club members. Feel free to email me and I'll send you an application. No, I'm not bitter about your involvement in this:

Channing Frye (Suns) Altercation with Earl Watson vs.Pacers [03-06-10] (via GoldLakerLion)

Earl Watson may be gone, but Channing's still around, and this big Polish guy they call The Hammer is on the squad as well. Let's keep it respectable, buddy.

Ah heck, I'm being antagonistic huh? Maybe I just view this match up as kind of boring. Nothing personal. Maybe a game our beloved Suns may forget to play inspired basketball in. 


They Pacers currently occupy the 8th seed in the East, 16 games behind the Celtics.

Statistically, the Pacers are a middle of the road squad, with -0.2 point differential (just below the Suns), a +0.8 rebounding differential, and a -0.4 FG% differential.

Danny Granger stirs the Indy drink, while Roy Hibbert provides the rebounding, blocks, and imposing interior D. Mike Dunleavy is out with injury, and did I mention, Josh McRoberts is STILL a Pacer?

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Danny Granger 56 36.0 7.1 16.4 43.5 2.1 5.4 39.0 4.6 5.5 83.5 1.1 4.6 5.7 2.7 2.8 1.1 0.8 2.8 20.9
Darren Collison 54 30.5 5.2 11.7 44.6 0.6 1.8 33.0 2.5 2.9 86.0 0.5 2.4 2.9 5.1 2.4 1.2 0.1 1.3 13.5
Roy Hibbert 56 27.8 5.3 11.8 45.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.5 3.4 72.8 2.4 5.4 7.8 2.2 2.2 0.3 1.8 3.0 13.2
Mike Dunleavy 54 28.6 4.0 8.7 45.7 1.7 4.3 40.7 1.5 1.9 78.8 0.5 4.3 4.8 1.8 1.1 0.7 0.5 1.8 11.2
Brandon Rush 42 27.8 3.7 8.4 43.8 1.4 3.4 42.0 1.4 1.8 77.3 0.6 2.9 3.5 1.0 1.2 0.6 0.5 2.0 10.2
Tyler Hansbrough 45 18.0 3.0 6.9 43.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.4 2.9 83.3 1.9 2.6 4.5 0.5 1.0 0.4 0.3 2.2 8.4
Paul George 36 18.9 2.9 6.5 45.1 0.7 2.5 28.6 1.5 1.9 77.9 0.6 2.9 3.5 1.0 0.9 0.9 0.4 2.0 8.0
Josh McRoberts 47 22.7 2.9 5.4 53.8 0.4 1.2 37.5 1.2 1.7 68.3 1.5 3.9 5.4 2.2 1.2 0.7 0.9 2.5 7.4
A.J. Price 26 14.7 2.0 5.7 36.1 0.7 2.7 24.6 1.2 1.6 73.8 0.3 1.2 1.5 1.9 1.0 0.5 0.0 1.1 5.9
Dahntay Jones 22 11.1 2.2 4.3 51.1 0.2 0.6 35.7 1.3 1.8 74.4 0.2 1.3 1.5 0.6 0.8 0.2 0.0 1.3 5.9
T.J. Ford 39 19.3 2.3 5.9 39.3 0.2 0.8 19.4 0.9 1.2 72.9 0.4 1.6 1.9 3.5 1.6 0.8 0.2 1.8 5.7
James Posey 43 17.6 1.7 4.9 34.4 1.4 4.4 32.4 0.2 0.3 75.0 0.2 2.8 3.0 0.8 0.4 0.5 0.1 2.1 5.0
Jeff Foster 34 17.9 1.5 3.4 44.8 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.7 1.1 62.2 3.2 3.5 6.7 1.1 0.6 0.5 0.8 2.3 3.7
Solomon Jones 37 13.1 1.3 3.0 42.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.1 1.6 67.8 1.2 1.7 2.8 0.8 0.9 0.3 0.6 2.3 3.6


You may recall the December 3 matchup, in which Earl Barron nearly outscored Danny Granger. Good times. That was pre-Gortat and Lopez was out with injury. The Suns still managed to pull out a W despite being out shot and out rebounded by the Pacers. 

The Suns should win this game. They are playing much better than the Pacers, and they have a significant advantage with the double headed beast  Lo-Tat, not to mention current bench performance. But there are a couple things that aren't exactly in their favor. The first is the early start time. The Suns have had quick starts the past few games. Perhaps we may expect a sleepy team to begin the game? Hope not, maybe some Diet AMP to begin the game

The next concern I have is that the Pacers aren't that great of a team. Every game counts at this stage in the season, so I would hope the Suns are up for this meh matchup. But don't expect Vince Carter to bust any reverse slams. And perhaps Aaron Brooks sees some time next to Steve Nash in the 4th. Yeah I said it. And I was thinking it even before Paul Coro wrote:

"Coach Alvin Gentry said Brooks will give him an opportunity to rest Nash more and added that he could pair the two in the backcourt."

And why not if match up dictates?

Don't forget the early start, and special prize to those who show up on the Game Thread super hungover with the most wild and insane story of how they spent their Saturday night. OK no prizes, just my undying respect for a few minutes.

Fun Links:

AZ Central: Give and Go-Grant Hill:

So the rule in our household was that I wasn't allowed to play organized football until I was a freshman in high school. Growing up on the sidelines and locker room, all I wanted to do was play football. Not being able to play was like dangling a prize in front of me. At 14, when I was allowed, I resented it and didn't want to play. To this day, I'm not a huge fan of football because I resented it as a kid.

SB Nation (Jon Bois): Piston's Kuester Ejected, Players Laugh (I can't get enough of this)

John Kuester's career as coach of the Detroit Pistons seems to have hit a new low. After leading his team to a 27-55 record in 2009-10, he isn't doing much better in 10-11, as the Pistons stand at 21-38. Today, several of his players, who have been critical of him all season, reportedly skipped practice in protest. And tonight, his own bench laughed at him after he was ejected.


Suns vs Pacers coverage

Indy Cornrows

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