|7:30 PM Pacific / 10:30 PM Eastern|
|Steve Nash||PG||Earl Watson|
|Raja Bell||SG||Kevin Durant|
|Grant Hill||SF||Damien Wilkins|
|Shawn Marion||PF||Chris Wilcox|
|Amare Stoudemire||C||Nick Collison|
Season #40 kicks off for the Suns tonight at 7:30 PM Pacific / 10:30 PM Eastern as the Suns face the Seattle Supersonics in a nationally televised game on TNT. This will be our game thread, posted early for the benefit of anyone who wants to get a jump start on the discussion. Major props go to Third Quarter Collapse for the header format idea.
When the Suns played the Sonics in their preseason closer a few days ago, the final score wasn't pretty, nor (I am assuming, since it wasn't televised) was the game. But that was the preseason. This is the real thing. The Suns should be a lot more motivated this time.
Tonight's game will be the Suns' first look at projected Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant, who was out with an ankle injury in last week's preseason game. The Sonics should get their first look at the Suns' full lineup too, provided recently-injured Leandro Barbosa (ribs), Raja Bell (ankle), Brian Skinner (ankle), and Boris Diaw (both ankles) are all able to play as expected. Key for the Suns will be keeping Chris Wilcox from repeating last week's 12-14 shooting performance, as well as containing Nick Collison, who always seems to have a good game against the Suns. Assuming he is able to play, Raja Bell should provide a rude welcome to the rookie Durant.
Tonight begins an eight-month journey of somewhere between 82 and 110 games that will hopefully end with the Suns capturing their first championship. Regardless of the ultimate outcome, the journey to get there will no doubt be filled with highs, lows, and everything in between. This game is the first step, and if the Suns come in motivated, it should be an upward one.
I am planning to do some in-game commentary tonight, although I may arrive a bit late. Check for it in the comments to this post. Readers are encouraged to join in on the fun. If you haven't registered yet, you can do so by clicking here. A recap will be posted sometime after the game.
Predict the outcome:
This poll is closed
Suns win in a blowout
Suns win in a close game
Sonics win in a close game
Sonics win in a blowout