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Game Thread: Phoenix Suns vs Utah Jazz

The Suns put to rest one demon.  They get to fight another one tonight.  Their record is now 1-6 against Dallas, San Antonio and Utah.  But again, even if they win, people will still bring it up.  Does 0-5 or 1-6 really look that much better than 2-7?  I don't think it does.  What I look at is the number of wins against those three teams during their 34-3 run.  During that streak, they are 1-1 against the top teams in the West.  And the loss was a last second shot by Dirk Nowitzki.  If they win tonight they'll be 2-1 during that streak.

Carlos Boozer is out for 4-6 weeks with a broken leg  for the Jazz.  But the Suns are missing Kurt Thomas and probably will not play Raja Bell tonight.  Bell has a sore knee that doesn't appear to have any structural problems but that is still hurting.  Steve Nash also has a sore shoulder but that probably will not stop him from playing.

The keys to tonight's game:

  1.  Don't let Kirilenko get going.  He's a wily player and seems to be everywhere at once - kind of like Shawn Marion.  if he starts shooting well, the Suns could be in for a fight.
  2.  Box out Matt Harpring.  Harpring seems to get tons of rebounds against the Suns.  I'm not sure who will be guarding him but whoever it is should make sure he doesn't become a rebounding machine.
  3.  Keep Amare in the game.  I don't think there is really anyone on Utah who can guard Amare Stoudemire.  After his monster game against the Spurs, the Suns should see if they can keep his confidence up by getting the ball into him when in the paint.
The Suns should be able to beat this team easily.  The past two games they played the Jazz, it was close.  And that was before the Suns gelled.  The Suns should be able to keep the Jazz running and tire them out by the 3rd quarter.  More analysis after the game.