| || |
|8:00 PM Mountain / 10:00 PM Eastern|
|TV: My45 HD|
| ||PG||Beno Udrih|
|Raja Bell||SG||John Salmons |
| ||SF||Jason Thompson|
|Amare Stoudemire ||PF||Miki Moore |
|Shaq||C||Brad Miller |
Well, this certainly isn't looking like a plain old game against the Kings anymore is it...
Let's see, where to start....suspensions...poor shooting....the Kings bigs...the Kings injuries...LB's departure...no lack of storylines for this one so let's jump right in:
- The Sun's will be down 3 key players tonight with the suspensions of Barnes and Nash and Barbosa's indefinite leave from the team to attend to the passing of his mother in Brazil. Tucker is still recovering from his knee scope.
We feel for LB who was very close to his mother. This is a big loss and not to be insensitive but will likely impact the team for some time. Even when Barbosa comes back (which I am guessing will be at least two weeks) it is unlikely he's going to be able to refocus any time soon. Matt Barnes went through exactly this situation last year and admitted that it pretty much ruined his season. Hopefully, Matt and the rest of the team can help LB through this.
- As for the suspensions, this seems harsh. No punches were thrown. I can see one game each for Barnes and Rafer. Or even two games for Barnes and one for Rafer but I don't think Nash should have been suspended.
- I've thought for awhile now that the league has gone too far in "cleaning up the game". These things are to be expected and my gut reaction is that lawyers and marketing types in NYC are thinking more about the corporate sponsors and rich season ticket holders then about the players and the "normal" fan. That's a topic for another time though.
- This all leaves the Suns VERY thin with three guards and a wing not available to play. Since the Suns only carry the league minimum of 13 that makes for a very thin available back court of Dragic, Bell and Singletary.
The good news for Suns fans is that the Kings are without their two long and talented 6'7" shooting guards Kevin Martin and Francisco Garcia. The Suns have done well against Martin in the past but Garcia has been a handful for us.
- The battle of the Slovenia point guards goes to Beno of course with his greater experience but between Dragic and Sean you would think we wouldn't get killed here. If this game were against a different team - like the Grizzlies - we would be in serious trouble. As it is we are only in regular trouble.
- The Kings front line on the other hand is huge. They play 3 7fters in Miller, Moore and Hawes and then Jason Thompson at 6'11" should be starting at the 3. He's reportedly been giving teams fits on the glass and without Barnes we should expect to see Diaw play a lot tonight at the 3 and expect to see Lopez more as well.
In fact, I would consider starting Diaw at the 3 and bringing in Hill behind Bell at the 2. Or even starting Hill at the 2. AmundSun can get minutes behind Amare and Lopez and Shaq can rotate at Center. Of course Dragic and Singletary will have to handle Beno and I guess Bobby Brown is the Kings backup PG.
I worry about Q. Douby as well. That guy light it up in Vegas and played well last year. He was a DNP CD in the Kings last game though and only has 14 minutes on the year. Not sure what's up with that.
This game will come down to Amare for the Suns offense. If Sun Tzu can rebound from a bad night against the Rockets he certainly can carry this team to a win. Containing John Salmons will be critical as well.
Wins in games like this count more for morale and we will see if this team can not only bounce back from a poor showing against the Rockets but also overcome being down four players.
What orginally looked like a "break" on the schedule between the Rockets and Pistons now will be a real character test.
Don't miss checking out Tom Ziller's Sactown Royalty for the other side of things.