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Game Day Open Thread: Phoenix Suns at Golden State Warriors

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Phoenix Suns

Golden State Warriors
36-15 31-20
7:00 PM Mountain / 9:00 PM Eastern
Probable starters:
Steve Nash PG Baron Davis
Raja Bell SG Monta Ellis
Grant Hill SF Stephen Jackson
Boris Diaw PF Matt Barnes
Amare Stoudemire C Chris Webber

When is the #1 team in the West an underdog to the #8 team in the West? When the #1 team is short-handed, and the #8 team is a matchup problem even on a good day. The last time the Suns beat the Warriors, Mike Dunleavy was still in Oakland and Stephen Jackson was still in Indiana. Since the trade that sent Jackson and Al Harrington out West last season, the Warriors have beaten the Suns fairly convincingly in two meetings. And that was with Shawn Marion's defense on the team.

It doesn't sound like Shaq will play tonight, which might be for the best anyway under the circumstances. Keys for the game? Solid play by Boris and Amare. Especially Amare. Versus Chris Webber, that's one matchup we should own.

Live blogging is back by popular demand. As usual, it will be in the comments of this post starting at tipoff. In the meantime, check out Golden State of Mind for a view from the Warriors fan side. Also, check out the Q&A that srp and I did with those guys. (Yes, I've been in something of a pessimistic mood lately. I'll come around. Eventually.)

[Update 02/13/08 18:26 MT]: It's official. Shaq sits this one out and tomorrow also, according to the Arizona Republic. We'll have to wait until after the All-Star break to see what the big guy can do. Bummer.

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