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Game Thread: Phoenix Suns vs Dallas Mavericks

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Since the game is in the afternoon tomorrow, I figured I would get the game thread up early so we can discuss it.

The last Dallas/Phoenix test before the post-season is tomorrow.  In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter?  Probably not.  But it sure would be nice for the Suns to beat the Mavs one more time before the end of the season.  To go into the playoffs 2-2 against the Mavs.  If the Suns win, it won't ruin the Mavericks season.  It'll just be another loss on a nearly perfect season.  The same should happen with the Suns.

If anything, the only thing this game may do is help the MVP voters decide who should win.  If the Mavericks beat the Suns, it probably will guarantee the award for Dirk.  If the Suns beat the Mavericks, it may give the voters some doubts about voting for Dirk and may even convince a few more people to vote for Steve.  One game obviously shouldn't affect a vote that is supposed to be over an entire season. But when you only get to see a few head-to-head matchups between MVP candidates, those games seem to carry more weight in the voting.  If Dirk can keep his team together this time and lead them to victory, it will make a difference.  If Steve does the same thing and Dirk falls apart like he did in the last game, the same goes for Nash.

I'm excited for the game on Sunday.  It's always fun to have a game against a good opponent where you know both teams will come out swinging and where there will definitely be a playoff atmosphere.  Mavs Moneyball doesn't have anything up on the game but it's still early.  I expect them to have something up soon so check back for their take on the game.

My keys to the game:

  1.  Contain Jason Terry - We have seen in the past few games that if the Suns can't contain the three-point shooter on their opponent's team, the Suns have a hard time winning.  Steve loves to flash to help Amare and as soon as the center picks up the ball, he flashes back to his guy.  If he flashes off of Terry and they toss the ball to him, the Suns could get hurt.
  2.  Play loose - As many people have mentioned, the Suns seem to be pressing lately.  As soon as the Suns started having fun, it made a huge difference.  If they can do that against Dallas, it will help them win the game.
  3.  Play defense - Defense will be key.  Without playing tough defense, I think the Mavericks will win the game in a landslide.  The Mavericks are one of the only teams the Suns can't outrun in 48 minutes.
Those are my keys.  What are yours?