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GameThread: Suns at Half Jazz


Phoenix Suns
at

Utah Jazz
8-3 6-4
7:00 PM Pacific / 9:00 PM Eastern
TV: My45, KJZZ
Probable starters:
Steve Nash PG Ronnie Price
Raja Bell SG Ronnie Brewer
Matt Barnes is Back! SF C.J. Miles
Amar'e Stoudemire
PF Carlos Boozer
Shaq? Rookie Robin Lopez?
C Rookie Kosta Koufos

It's hard to keep up with the Suns' roster these days, following 2 suspensions, two ejections and waiting on a possible suspension for Shaq in the first 11 games for the "NBA Bad Boys".

I have no sympathy for all these suspended players, because, hey, the Suns are winning.


However, I am really starting to convince myself that a change in NBA management is due. Term limits for the commish are in order.

On the one hand, it's pretty bad that players are now resorting to padded protective gear under their unis, as the level of contact has devolved to that in a football game. On the other hand, the eagerness with which Stern has chosen to punish Suns players while turning a blind eye elsewhere is mesmerizing. Just as Suns management has realized physical play is the only way to compete with the perennial physical (dirty) teams like San Antonio and Utah, the Sternites decide to clean up the game? Just when the Suns go out and get these tougher players like Bell, Barnes and Shaq does the league start wagging their fingers "no"?

Stern will not be attending the All-star game in Phoenix this year. I know it already. The latest round of retribution will not patch up the wrongs of years past. Not so secretly, David Stern hates the Suns. I want to see him retired by the end of the season. iViva la revolucion!

In the meantime, the physical suns need to learn more subtlety.

Today is a good day to learn it from the Utah Jazz, who have been one of the more physical teams in the league for 20 years. However, The Jazz are a shadow of their normal selves, with injuries sidelining star Deron Williams for 8 games so far. Key players and former all-stars Andrei Kirilenko, Mehmet Okur and Matt Harpring have also been out, for a least 4 games each. For this reason, Utah tanked its 5-game East Coast road trip, going a pitiful 1-4.

Therefore, Shaq or no Shaq, and regardless of the sizeable Energy Solutions home court advantage, the Suns should get this game without too much x's & o's help from me.

I hope to see Rookie Robin Lopez start against 19 year old rookie Kosta Koufos and a good battle between MVP contenders Boozer and Stoudemire, especially Amar'e defense on the Big Booze.

Check out the action on SLC DUNK. Want more? Try True Blue Jazz. Also the blogger power rankings are there.