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Game Day Open Thread: Phoenix Suns vs. Utah Jazz

Phoenix Suns

Utah Jazz
40-21 40-22
7:00 PM Mountain / 9:00 PM Eastern
TV: FSN AZ HD, NBA League Pass
Probable starters:
Steve Nash PG Deron Williams
Raja Bell SG Ronnie Brewer
Grant Hill SF C.J. Miles
Amare Stoudemire PF Carlos Boozer
Shaquille O'Neal C Mehmet Okur

What happens when a bad road team missing its best defender meets a previously-good home team that's now struggling to find it's way without its most versatile defender? What happens when Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur meet the Big Cactus, as he likes to be called these days? What happens when a young up-and-coming point guard meets a former two-time MVP who's trying to re-establish cohesion on a team that's undergoing preseason in March? Your guess is as good as mine. We could see anything from a blowout by either team, to a tough, competitive, hard-fought game that won't be decided until the final minute.

The Jazz are coming into this game on a three-game winning streak, but lost Andrei Kirilenko to that infamous Dirk Nowitzki horsecollar move on Monday. The Suns have been (let's be honest) reeling, and basically playing like a mid-level Eastern Conference team since the Big Trade. At some point, you have to think pride and talent will re-assert itself, and everything will suddenly snap into place.

Reason for hope: The Suns tend to start the season slow, then really get cooking around the start of December. If we look at the present situation as the start of a new season (as Shaq says, a "college season"), then we should be on fire any day now, right? Perhaps tonight is where it begins. [Update]: New member Snowbird agrees with this assessment.

My Utah Jazz has the view of the game from a Jazz fan's side, including this interview with srp. See also, srp's turnabout interview with them.

No formalized live blogging tonight, although discussion of the game in the comments is welcomed and encouraged.

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