There is absolutely no way this game ends well for the Phoenix Suns. Whatever your bar is for the Suns' performance in this game, lower it. I'm eschewing the typical "match-up" format for this preview in favor of bullet points, because while the Suns may have an edge here or there with regards to personnel, none of that has mattered so far on Second Nights.
I know that's not very Bright Side of me, but the deck is stacked heavily against the Suns tonight:
- Denver is ranked 3rd in offensive efficiency. The Suns are ranked 23rd in defensive efficiency.
- The Suns are on the second night of a back-to-back. They are 1-4 in these games, 0-4 against teams with a winning percentage higher than .217.
- On second night games, ALL the Suns starters shoot notably worse except for one: Steve Nash. He actually has higher FG and 3PT percentages on the wrong side of back-to-backs than his season averages. His overall totals are down in these games, but so are his minutes as they've generally ended in blow-outs. Could Steve Nash be any more amazing?
This game has blow out written all over it. The Suns remaining competitive for more than 2 quarters, much less winning this game, flies in the face of everything we've seen from them so far this season. For the Suns to win, they have to somehow find that crazy offensive rhythm they had through the first 17 games of the season and Denver has to be commensurately ice cold from the field. A Suns victory isn't impossible tonight, just highly improbable. But that's why they play the games, eh? Denver wins 122-100 and the Suns get a moral taco victory.
P.S. - I have no problem being wrong about all of the above and the Suns pulling one out tonight.
[Note by Mike Lisboa, 12/12/09 11:55 AM PST ]
It's unfortunate this is a Second Night game, because with both teams well-rested, this match-up has the potential to be a fast-paced yet nasty shoot-out. Fortunately, the next couple of times these two teams it will be after a day or two's rest.
Check out the view from a Mile High over at Denver Stiffs.
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