Phoenix Suns at Minnesota Timberwolves Gamethread: Playing in the National Spotlight

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Game time!

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Tip-off is set for 7:30 Arizona time, and those outside of the Fox Sports Arizona signal will get a chance to see the Suns do their thing.

Couple updates:

  • For the Suns, the paperwork has finally gone through and Leandro Barbosa is once again a Phoenix Sun. He'll be available for tonight's game, and per Paul Coro he is going to play. For those hoping he takes Ish Smith's minutes, that won't necessarily be the case tonight as Hornacek told Coro he will play shooting guard only until he learns the offense.
  • For the Wolves, Chase Budinger is returning from injury tonight. He's an athletic wing who can shoot the ball.

Key Match-ups:

  • Goran Dragic vs. Ricky Rubio: Especially with Eric Bledsoe out of the line-up and despite LB being back, the Suns' offense must start and finish with Goran Dragic. He's the best scorer and the best distributor and as such he has a ton of responsibility on his shoulders. He's matching up with Minnesota's Rubio, who is one of the better defensive point guards in the game and will not make things easy for him. If Dragic can get loose and get hot early, the Suns should be in good shape.
  • Kevin Love vs. ... the entire Phoenix front line: I'd imagine Miles Plumlee, Channing Frye and Markieff Morris will all take their turns guarding Love. They are going to have to stay with him on the perimeter and keep him off the boards as well as they can. Make his double-double a hard-fought one.
  • The Suns' shooters vs. themselves: Nobody was hitting last night in Chicago. If the Suns hit their average from 3-point range tonight I don't think the Wolves can keep up.




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