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Gameday Open Thread: Phoenix Suns vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

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Update: Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic is reporting that Amare Stoudemire will miss tonight's game with stiffness in his recently-scoped right knee. Boris Diaw will start in his place. Let's hope those ankles are better! Thanks, whatisboxhappening, for the head's up.

Phoenix Suns
vs.
Cleveland Cavaliers
1-1 1-1
6:00 PM Mountain / 8:00 PM Eastern
TV: NBATV, FSN AZ HD
Probable starters:
Steve Nash PG Larry Hughes
Raja Bell SG Daniel Gibson
Grant Hill SF LeBron James
Shawn Marion PF Drew Gooden
Amare Stoudemire C Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Since I am sure everyone is as eager as I am to put the stench of Friday night's game behind us, I am putting up the game day thread a little early this time. The Suns will take on the Cavaliers in what will hopefully be a game worthy of Jerry Colangelo's Ring of Honor induction ceremony. The Suns swept both meetings with the Cavaliers last season. The first featured Steve Nash's four-point, 21-assist, one turnover outing, and ended in a 19-point victory for the Suns. The second featured a 23-point, 15-assist, and no turnover performance from Steve, and ended in a 15-point Suns victory. Since the first two games of the present season have been marked by a greater than normal number of turnovers, maybe this is a good matchup for the Suns' MVP to get going, and get the team in sync again.

The Cavaliers have split their two games thus far, getting hammered by the Mavericks in their season opener, and slipping past the Knicks in the next one. This will be their first road game of the season. They are still without Anderson Varejao, with whom they have yet to reach an agreement on a new contract, but they do finally have Sasha Pavlovic back, and it is possible he will play in this game. For the Suns, the key first and foremost will be to play with energy and heart. Rebounding, moving the ball, hustling on defense, and running the floor are all evidence of this. They'll also need to keep a lid on LeBron James, as well as Drew Gooden. Zydrunas Ilgauskas can hurt the Suns with size and shooting, but he's also the type of center the Suns can run off the floor if they are faithful to their running game. Another factor may be the rash of ankle and other injuries currently affecting several Suns players, including Raja Bell, Boris Diaw, Leandro Barbosa, and Brian Skinner. On paper (and health willing), the Suns should be able to take this one, but there is no way I'm going to make another prediction after messing up so badly last time. Sadly, I will not be able to watch as I am still out of town and do not have access to NBATV from here. However, JSun will once again be attending the game live, and he will post a recap when he gets back.

And now a brief reminder of how the Suns can play against this team when the effort (and health) is there: