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Open Game Day Thread: Suns v Warriors (w/ breaking news)

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Phoenix Suns
vs.

Golden State Warriors
52-27 48-32
7:00 PM Pacific / 10:00 PM Eastern
TV: FSNAZ HD, NBA LP
Probable starters:
Steve Nash PG Beard Davis
Raja Bell SG Monta Ellis
Grant Hill SF Stephen Jackson
Amare Stoudemire PF Al "STAT Fodder" Harrington
Shaq C Andris Biedrins

Forget about the game. We know the Suns can beat the Warriors now and we know that there is very little chance that we will see them again until next year.

This game is about three things:

Defense du Jour: The Suns have tried all kinds of defensive schemes over the past few weeks. The zone was employed frequently when we last faced the Warriors on March 13th and we've just recently seen some perimeter double teams against Houston. Against Dallas we saw Shaq and Amare switch the pick and roll with Dirk and Dampier.

Which D will show up tonight? I guess we will just have to wait and see because there's really no telling at this point what Coach might do.

To Rest or not to Rest: This is really the question for tonight's game. Its pretty clear that we are getting 5th or 6th seed and in that light this game really isn't all that meaningful to the Suns.

With young clubs you run the risk of getting out of rhythm but with the Suns and our...mature...stars it might make more sense. No one asked me but if they did, here's my plan for tonight:

Limited minutes for Shaq. This isn't his type of game anyway and if anyone can use the rest and not get out of synch its the Big Hip Bruise Cactus

Nash can get some more floor time. And by floor time I mean on his back on the sidelines resting on the floor. Let's see what DJ can do with Baron and Monta

Hill, Amare and Bell - here I might look to keep them at around 30 minutes each. Maybe less for Hill if anyone. In fact, Grant could easily not play at all and we could see Gordan starting with Tucker in off the bench.

Punking the Nugs: The question this time of the year when you are talking about resting your starters is if you are being fair to the other teams in the race. If we don't go all out tonight, we are essentially punking the Nuggets who are trying to put the Warriors in the 9th seed grave. Normally, I am kind of sympathic to this arguement. You owe it to the game - forget the Nugs - to go all out in situations like this.

But in this case given that the Nugs are in the drivers seat and can control their fate by beating the Grizzlies...let's just worry about our own interests here.

Update [2008-4-14 14:25:36 by Phoenix Stan]:

Well, here's a possible answer to what the Suns are thinking for tonight. I just got of the phone doing about a 15 minute interview with Suns rookie Alando Tucker. I asked him about tonight

According to Alando the Suns are playing to win and still feel like they can get the 3rd or 4th seed if some other teams lose. But, he said that it depends on the game situation and both he and DJ were told by the coaches to be prepared to play

I will write up the full interview later. But there you have it, live breaking news on BSoS.