Gamethread: Suns host Nuggets, 7pm, without Goran Dragic

Doug Pensinger

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Dragic out third straight game

Dragic said he was feeling better today, but that the ankle was still sore. No need to push him back as the team is playing well, and tonight's opponent is struggling and coming in off a back-to-back. Get Dragic healthy. That's what matters.

Bledsoe vs. Lawson

The most interesting matchup of the entire night will be Eric Bledsoe vs. Ty Lawson. Two strong point guards who try to score and create in a very similar fashion. Lawson already got his big payday at $12 million per season to put up numbers now being matched by Bledsoe.

"Both are very strong, quick guards. Both very explosive," Denver coach Brian Shaw said about comparisons between Bledsoe and Lawson.

Shaw made comparisons of Bledsoe's start in the league to former Suns Kevin Johnson and then to Steve Nash, as players who had to wait their turn to run a team before becoming a very good starting point guard.

Plumlee vs. McGee

Here's another matchup of similar players on mismatched salaries. I know that the games of Plumlee and McGee are different, but their impact on a game is similar. They both always try to contest the shot, leaving rebounds to other players on the floor at those times.

McGee was extended at more than $10 million per season last year, but still can't crack a good team's starting lineup. Plumlee is producing very well this season in the starting lineup for the Suns, but he still has a lot to prove.

"No, I'm not surprised," Shaw said of Plumlee, who he coached in Indiana last year while Plumlee had trouble getting on the floor for a deep, talented Indiana team. "He understands his role - he's setting good screens, rolling to the basket and they're dropping the ball off."

It wouldn't surprise me if Shaw found himself pining for Plumlee at the end of this night.

Keys for Denver

  • Getting back in transition. "We have a tendency to watch the shot going up."
  • On Denver possibly not playing their best: "There's no household names on the team. When they're playing against a team they don't know that much, they don't get as up or as excited for it. We aren't in that position, we're 1-3."

Keys for the Suns

  • You might be surprised, but a key for the Suns could very well be the Morris twins. Denver, without Gallinari or Chandler, have to play small at SF and a lot of times even at PF. The bigger Morris twins are a load down there that both coaches mentioned pregame as mismatches.
  • Run on misses, because Denver has not been good at transition defense.
  • Stop the dribble drives, keeping Faried and McGee off the rim on offense. Those guys are great offensive rebounders who keep plays alive if the ball doesn't bounce too hard
  • Keep Denver off the 3-pt line. They are making a lot of 3s early this season - higher percentage (45%) than all field goals added together (42%)
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