The Blazers are missing the following due to injury:
- Greg Oden
- Rudy Fernandez
- Travis Outlaw
- Nic Batum
- Jeff Pendergraph (who would be playing right now w/ Outlaw and Oden out)
- Patty Mills (who would not be playing now)
The Suns are 0-16 on TNT
Something's got to give
Busy day today with a holiday party and some other stuff so you can a) suffer through this abbreviated preview b) write your own and we will reprise the Preview Mash-up c) suck it sucker and go read someone else's preview
There's two match-ups I am really interested in for this game.
Amare vs Aldridge
|2009 - Amare Stoudemire
|2009 - LaMarcus Aldridge
LMA has reportedly struggled this season early as the entire Blazers team floundered about trying to figure out what to do with Andre Miller and Greg Oden's sudden need for touches in the post. LMA seemed lost.
Recently though he's been playing much better but so has Amare who is averaging 10.4 rebounds per game in December.
In theory this match-up is a wash production-wise and if that's the case the Suns should win the game.
Dragic vs Bayless
This one is just plain fun. Both kids are playing well right now and both are explosive athletes with the edge there obviously going to Bayless. But Dragic seems to be the better all around basketball player who is by far the better outside shooter. Bayless is hyper-aggressive at getting to the rim and plays a lot like Barbosa.
Without Barbosa in uniform to counter Jareeryddd this task will fall on Goran. LB would have tried to match Bayless shot for shot. Dragic will try and stay in front of him and use his length and defensive tenacity to slow the kid down.
I don't think this match-up will turn the tide of the game, but I am looking forward to it.
Oh, and still no word if Richardson will play. It doesn't look good though and without him playing at a high-level it is going to be next to impossible to contain Roy. Ruh, roh..
[Note by Phoenix Stan, 12/17/09 10:19 AM MST ]
More time. More preview...
First a word from my favorite preacher/blogger, Dave from Blazers Edge who can string words together with the best of them. Here's what he has to say about the greatest Canadian point guard evah!
...Steve Nash is right behind with 18 per game, 53% shooting, 45.6% three-point shooting, 94% foul shooting, ran-the-table-again pool shooting, -18 handicap golf shooting, "one trick shot to bag my entire limit" duck shooting, "that guy on the Dos Equis commercials is only the second most interesting man" breeze shooting, oh...and 11.2 assists per game besides.
But since we are praising Dave I think it is only fair and balanced that we nitpick as well.
Dave, Lou Amundson is not a good shooter but he will bang with the best of them. He might give up 30 - 700 lbs to the Vanilla Gorilla but he won't be out-worked. Let's just hope that mild ankle sprain doesn't bother him. Something tells me it won't.
Oh and Dave, the Phoenix Suns are 12th in the league in defensive rebounding. I realize the Blazers are a great offensive rebounding team and in the past have killed the Suns in that department but without Oden, I would not expect too much advantage in that department. The Suns held the Magic to 10 second chance points and had 12 of their own.
And btw, Amare had 14 rebounds against Tim Duncan and the Spurs. No offense, Joel but you sir are no Tim Duncan.
The one point that Dave got right /sarcasm/ was about tempo. The Blazers operate at glacial speed holding down 30th place in a 30 horse race in the Pace Factor. That's slow.
While the Suns did manage to trick the Blazers into an up-paced game in the Rose Garden last season and and the Blazer did win said game, it took 52 points by Brandon Roy to make that happen. What are the chance of that happening again?
Did I mention this game is on TNT where the Suns are 0-16? I think that puts the odds of Roy going ballistic at about 2:1.
[Note by Phoenix Stan, 12/17/09 11:00 AM MST ]
Have you got your discounted tickets yet for the Blog Night at the Suns (Jan 23 vs Warriors)? You better hurry!!!
- Suns vs Trail Blazers coverage
- Blazersedge (check it out!)
RealGM: Basketball Wiretap Archives: Serbian Coach Helps With Dragic's Shot
"My coach from Serbia has been in town for the last four days, and we worked a lot on my shot," Dragic said. "Before when I shot, my arch was not so high. Today it felt great. The arch was higher."
Suns get chance to end TNT curse
"It's bizarre," Kerr said. "What are the chances of losing 16 in a row? I know the competition's tougher but it's not like we don't beat good teams on ESPN. There's no explanation. "Let's pin it on Charles. He brings that negative vibe all the time."