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Game Preview: Mavericks at Suns

The Mavericks will play the Suns on their second night of a back to back so it's safe to say that Phoenix will win this game, right? I mean, The Suns will even play at home.

The above statements are the ones who I'd love to use in a non-sarcastic tone of voice when talking about the Suns. We all know they can lay an egg any given night no matter who they play against or under what circumstances. It will be a great test for this squad to play against one of the best teams in the Western Conference.

The Dallas Mavericks and Steve Nash have a history; expect to hear that like a thousand times during tonight's broadcast. Steve and Dirk are best friends, we know that too. One thing I can tell you though is that playing basketball against your long time buddy is a really cool experience.

This wouldn't be a P-Sun game preview if it didn't include one of my stories so guys bear with me. And you ladies out there bare with me. I love this so called English language.

When I was in the States in elementary school I fell in love with basketball. I became so obsessed with it that I wouldn't sleep at night only to practice my dribble in my bedroom. At one point my dad was so pissed that he hid my basketball for a week. I do not remember ever crying as much as I did during that whole week. You see, my dad always wanted me to play soccer. Before I was born, he was on his way to play in Brazil in a semi pro league when he busted his knee so I guess he was trying to live his dream through me. Big mistake, I couldn't kick a soccer ball even if my life depended on it and besides I just hated the sport. When we came back to Panama he realized I was really good at basketball and reluctantly started to come to my games. And this is where I met my best friend (at the time) Luis. Both of us were 14 years old, we had similar skills but always played for the same team. Same high school, same Panama National Team at the age of 16. We pushed each other to our basketball limits. If he trained 3 hours I would train 4. If he made 25 free throws in a row I would have to make 30.

Luis, being born in Panama but with Costa Rican parents had a double nationality and chose to play for Costa Rica once he was called by their coach who had previously shown interest in him. He moved with his parents to San Jose and we tried to keep in touch but eventually didn't.

Why would he go to a significantly weaker team? To be the man? To play against me at some point?  He was granted both wishes 7 months later. We played in an exhibition match that was everything but friendly. I played my heart out; I wanted to beat him so bad.

I was pissed that he had left to play somewhere else and wanted to show him we didn't need him. That I didn't need him. We both played well but he played better. They beat us and I felt miserable. At the same time I was happy for him, he had found a place where he could shine and run the team. It was a strange mix of feelings.

I have to agree with Michael Jordan here, playing with your friends is not nearly as fun as playing against them. You want to beat those guys, not play on the same team with them. Playing against them brings the beast best out of you.  

Enough of my stories! Let's talk Mavs Vs Suns after the jump!

The Mavericks will look for their 13th win in 14 games and not even that stat describes how good their team is playing.

The addition of Peja gives them a sharpshooter who helps them spread the floor. He scored 12 points in last night's win against the Kings. Another headache for the Suns will be Rodrigue Beaubois. He played his first game last night after missing 54 games with a fractured left foot. After a couple of back to back turnovers he settled down and ended up scoring 13 points and ditching 6 assists.

The Mavs have beaten the Suns six out of the last seven games these teams have played while averaging 113.8 points 50% shooting. So yeah, it's safe to say the Suns are the Mavs' bitch.

We all know their weapons too well for my liking. Dirk is a match up nightmare. Tyson Chandler protects the rim as well as anyone in this league. You got guys like Shawn Marion and DeShawn Stevenson chasing everyone around in the perimeter. They have the luxury of bringing a guy like Jason Terry off the bench who can light it up at any moment. Their depth is ridiculous. They can rest their 38 year old point guard for the playoffs. JJ Barea pisses me off so much because he is that good.

But... we have all seen this before. A Dallas team who seems unbeatable in the regular season but still has to prove everyone (and themselves) that they can make it happen in the playoffs.

As for the Suns, we can say that they are playing decent basketball. The bench is a cause of concern to say the least. They are unable to keep a lead let alone extend it. If Gentry keeps giving Nash more minutes on the court he will regret it if they make the playoffs. This is a problem that needs to be fixed and fast. Whoever plays better, whether is Dragic or Dowdell, needs to be given the opportunity to lead the second unit. As simple as that.

It will be interesting to see how Gentry tries to counter Dallas' size. Will we see a Robin- Marcin lineup at some point? You can certainly expect Grant Hill on Dirk and maybe Dudley to give Dirk different looks.

Nowitzki averages 28.9 points and 9.8 rebounds in his last 9 visits to the valley (Good Luck with that, Grant) while Nash is averaging 19.7 points and 11.6 assists against Dallas since joining the Suns in 2004.

So yeah, it's safe to say that playing against your buddy brings out the best of you.

If the Suns pull out a win, it will be a legitimate one. A good sign of things to come.

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