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Game Thread: Phoenix Suns at Seattle Supersonics

Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Repeat.  That's what Suns fans need to do tonight as the Suns play their last game before the All-Star break and hopefully the last game without Steve Nash, Boris Diaw and Kurt Thomas.

Kurt Thomas started practicing with the team again yesterday and indications are he should be ready for the February 20th game after the All-Star break.

Everyone already knows Steve will be out for tonight's game and for the All-Star game but is hoping to get well enough to play next Tuesday.

And Boris Diaw is improving but will probably miss tonight's game as well.

What does that mean for the Suns?  Well, for tonight, it means nothing.  The team still has to play without the three of them.  But even still, it's a game they can win as long as they follow these three keys to the game:

  1.  It's Amare - When the Suns get the ball into Amare, good things seem to follow.  The Sonics have Rashard Lewis but this is only his third game back after being out because of a hurt hand.  Amare should try to test him and see how good Rashard really is.  And when the double-team comes on Amare, he should
  2.  Pass the ball to the open man - One thing Amare tries to do a little too much is take the ball to the hoop when there are three guys on him.  It's time he learned to spot the double- or triple-team, find the open guy and pass it out.  Once that happens, he'll either find someone cheating on a double-team because they don't want to let their own guy score or his assists will skyrocket.
  3.  Pass, pass, pass - In the Chicago game, it seemed like the guys were all trying to take the game upon themselves.  First you'd see Marcus Banks take it in to the basket without passing.  Then it was Leandro Barbosa.  Next it would be Marion.  It's like the guys figured if Nash and Boris weren't out there, then they better get their own shot because no one was going to pass it to them.  The key to winning is to stay in the game plan they've had all year.  Keep running the ball, pass to the open man and find a better shot.  When they do that, they're unstoppable.
The game is a late one because it's on the West coast.  I'll be watching it on our brand new LCD HDTV - thanks to the wife.  Now THAT's a nice Valentine's Day present!  More on Valentine's Day later.