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Suns Win Preseason Opener Over Kings 110-99

The 2007-08 Suns are undefeated after winning their preseason opener against the Sacramento Kings 110-99. Of course, this win doesn't count for anything a month from now, but it's always good to see your team come out on top regardless. Those who were following my running commentary in the game thread probably already have some idea of what I'm going to say, but since this is my last chance to see a game until the season opener next month, here are a few quick thoughts:

  • The Suns put seven guys in double figures. Seven. Even though it was just a preseason game, wow! They also made scoring 110 points look easy. Without Amare. In a game where none of the remaining projected starters played longer than 27 minutes.
  • It looked like the Suns were trying to share the assists as well as the shots instead of having Steve Nash create everything. Didn't work out that way in the boxscore, though. Steve ended up with 11 assists anyway--in just 26 minutes of play. He had one of his "upside down" lines with 11 assists and only three points. He wasn't really looking to score tonight, and shot just three times.
  • Sean Marks won't replace what Kurt Thomas brought to the team, but I did wonder several times during the game why he wasn't at least ahead of Pat Burke in the rotation last season. He doesn't have the greatest hands, but he really goes hard for rebounds and apparently has range all the way out to the three-point line. He finished up with 13 points, nine rebounds, two steals, and two blocks in just 21 minutes. He can also make free throws (4-4). He did foul out, though--maybe that's why he couldn't get time on the floor last season?
  • Shawn Marion had a great line even by Shawn Marion standards. More on him later.
  • The Suns went 50% on threes. Guess who the best three-point shooter was tonight? That would be Marcus Banks who went 3-3 before finally missing one.
  • The Nash-less lineup showed some promise to be way better than years past, but the Suns still looked like a completely different team on offense when he sat.
  • It didn't take Grant Hill long to try a three. He had one in the bag by 6:43 in the first quarter. Like I said in the in-game commentary, I'm predicting career highs for Hill in threes made, attempted, and percentage this year.
  • Shawn Marion's three was on tonight as well (2-3).
  • Like I said during the game, Boris Diaw showed his 2005-06 form at time, but still had me wanting to throw something at the TV once or twice when he passed up open shots. But overall, I'd say he looked a lot better than he did most all of last season, and even seemed more active than usual on defense as well.
  • Grant Hill wasn't overly accurate with 6-14 from the field, but between him and Amare, I think the Suns will no longer lag behind in trips to the foul line.
  • A few times tonight the Suns went back to the "rebound by tapping the ball to a teammate" method they used in 2005-06. That was one of the things I liked about the 2005-06 Suns. Nice to see it back in their arsenal again.
  • D.J. Strawberry and Alando Tucker both got some burn tonight (and both got burned a couple of times too, as might be expected of rookies). Nothing overly-impressive from either of them, but I'm sure nerves were likely a factor since this was their first NBA game against actual competition.

Player of the Game: Shawn Marion. 18 points, 7-10 shooting, 12 rebounds, two blocks, and four assists--all in only 27 minutes. If this is what we have to look forward to from him this season, he just might make everyone forget about that silly trade request.

Runner-up: Quincy Douby. Maybe I should temporarily rename this the "Where did that guy come from?" award. 17 points on 7-13 shooting in 19 minutes. Not bad for a guy whose name I had to look up because I couldn't remember who he was.

Random Thoughts: The Goofy Hairstyle of the Game award goes to Brad Miller. Seriously, what was his hairstylist thinking?

Thanks to everyone who followed along with my comments during the game. Unfortunately, I won't be able to watch any of the other preseason games, although I will continue creating threads for others to discuss if they want. JSun has already posted what will become the official Game Thread for Saturday's preseason matchup with the Hornets. Other than checking up on comments, I'm "off" from blogging until Monday night. Have a good weekend, everyone!

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