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Game Day Thread -- Clippers visit Suns

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Steve Nash vs. Monta Ellis Baron Davis

JSun RichardSun vs. Eric Gordon

Grant Hill vs. Al Thornton

Am'a'r'e Stoudemire vs. Zach Randolph

The Big All-Star vs. Marcus Camby

Game Time: 7:00 p.m. local

Coverage: MY45 TV and 620 KTAR

It's cliche to say, but I didn't feel like finding a Clippers logo to put up there so here it goes: the only team that can beat the Suns tonight are the Suns.  With Stan searching for game tickets in L.A., everyone else stepped back and left me to do the preview.

Comments and thoughts below.  This will also be the live game thread.

In case you missed the drama, S-Jack told the press that Boom Dizzle wanted out of Clips Nation.  Of course, Davis denied it.  But can you blame him?  He thought he'd be playing alongside Elton Brand, but then Brand bolted for Philly.  The Clips' last loss came at home to the Brand-less Sixers.

The Clippers come in at 8-23, with the crowd chanting for Dunleavy's termination and consistently heckling Davis.  Davis is shooting a career-low 36% after his payday. 

In that loss to Philly Marcus Camby grabbed 17 of his team's 41 boards.  Camby is a great weakside defender and rebounder, but he is a relatively weak man-to-man defender.  In Denver, this was never really exposed because the rest of his team was so bad he was scrambling everywhere and looked like an absolute monster.

Ricky Davis has been suspended for violating the league's drug policy.

Zach Randolph has stayed out ot he news, but who knows what he's up to ...

Al Thornton appears to be a pretty good second-year player; however, we'll see how his development stunts in Clipper-Land.

The Suns are at 18-12, with 5 other WC teams at the 12 loss mark.  The Suns are behind in the win column but can make up that ground over the next few games (Indiana and Dallas at home, then to L.A. to see the Clips).

Steve Nash should be back and Goran Tragic is over the flu.  Let's see who gets the burn at backup PG.

Stoudemire and/or Shaq should have good games, as few teams can stop both of those guys on the same night unless Amare loses his cool or Shaq is too tired.  Unbeknownst to, Shaq was at Axis on New Year's Eve.  We'll see how tired he is, I suppose.  Does this count as a back-to-back game?

Bluntman ran into him, which was exciting for JSun2.  When JSun2 was informed of the encounter, he asked, "Did you thank Shaq for my high-jumping shoes?"  You see, the boy got little Shaq basketball shoes with the fake springy-thing in the heel last year before the trade at Payless (only about $15).  He thinks they make him jump higher and when the Suns picked up Shaq, he was glad that the nice man that made high-jumping shoes was on the Suns.  At that time, his two favorite players changed from Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire to Steve Nash and Shaq.  Kind of the same thing that's happened to PhxStan recently.

I'll be at the game tonight with the boy.  He, too, now hates David Stern.  The Suns no longer use the pillars of fire in the pre-game because of the fire extinguisher fiasco in New Orleans last year during the playoffs.  A small, controlled propane burn is not the same as a ring-of-fire being doused by the wrong type of fire extinguisher.  Zero tolerance, I suppose.

For more from ClipsNation, go here.  I'll be at the game and doing the recap with what I can remember.

Update with a Thought:

Every time I see something good about The Big Gamble, I start knocking on wood.  So, that pounding you hear from your speakers is me knocking on my skull (ala Chainsaw and Dave).

Shaq's free throws.  They've looked a lot softer this year and he is hitting more.  Is he on an upward trend?  If he is (and he's finally rounding-out his game) that's a great upgrade for the Suns.  First off, we'll see less Hack-A-Shaq.  He'd also be much more effective in the post.  Think about that.

Further update:

I've dusted off the Shaq jersey that I pre-ordered after the trade.  First time I've worn it this year, in honor of the new Shaq Ball.  Hear the knocking?

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