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Game Day Open Thread: Phoenix Suns at Cleveland Cavs

Phoenix Suns

Cleveland Cavaliers
30-13 23-18
5:00 PM Mountain / 7:00 PM Eastern
TV: My45 HD
Probable starters:
Steve Nash PG Boobie Gibson
Raja Bell SG Larry Hughes
Grant Hill SF Lebron James
Shawn Marion PF Drew Gooden
Amare Stoudemire C Zydrunas Illgauskas

Suns Trends
We all know how that last game went on Wednesday night but there's some disagreement as to the cause. Some blame Marion. Or Diaw. Or Amare. Or starting Hill. Or not playing Skinner enough. Or Mark's haircut. Personally, I blamed the weather. Best just to put that one behind us.

The bottom line is that the Suns will struggle if they don't show up to play. If they do then they should run this mediocre Cavs team out of the building.

Cavs Trends
This is certainly not the same Cavs team we faced on December 8th when they were 9-12 and without energy hair man Andy Varejao. They are a hot team coming off a huge 36 point blowout over the Wiz where the Big Z threw a perfect game going 10-10. Most people consider the Cavs to be the third best team in the East right now. Of course, that's like saying they are 13th best team in the West.

srp's Keys to the Game

  • Make the King shoot. The Suns actually match up well against the Cavs with Hill and Marion and even Bell and Diaw all able to stay in front of King James and make him hit jump shots. Even if those are falling you want him launching for the outside and not driving in the lane and getting to the line and creating even more problems for the Suns on the glass as they have to help.

  • Big Z's minutes. Coming off his huge night and playing against the Sun's the Cavs are going to want to slow the game and pound it low to Z. Usually, the Suns can run him off the court pretty quick and I would definitely look for that tonight. The sooner Varejair comes in the better.

  • Show up.

Stat of the Night:
I did some quick figuring and while I quickly ran out of fingers and toes I discovered the most important stat in Sun's wins versus losses was not rebound differential (that's a close second) but assist differential. The Suns are +9.6 in wins and only +1.9 in loses. This suggests that the Suns succeed when playing good solid 1:1 defense and denying the other team ball movement as well as spreading the wealth as the Suns are prone to do on their best nights.

Interesting Stat of the Night:
The Suns are 10 of 13 after a lose.

Useless Stat of the Night:
The Suns are 6 of 7 on Fridays

Theme of the night

Live Blogging
I don't think there's going to be organized live blogging for this game as TexSun is traveling and I just don't do that. Feel free to have it! See you on the flip side.

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