Both teams are entering the season with new optimism. The Phoenix Suns have basically started over, rebooting their hopes and dreams with a new starting point guard and small forward to replace you-know-who and you-know-who-else. In addition, there's a new starting power forward to replace the enlarged-hearted incumbent.
Beginning tonight, the Suns will trot out a healthy Opening Night lineup that doesn't boast Steve Nash and Grant Hill as two of the starters for the first time in six years.
Beginning tonight, the Suns will trot out an Opening Night starting point guard with boring hair for the first time in nine years.
For the first time in just as many years, the offense's production will be unpredictable.
Goran Dragic will run the point for the Suns, while Michael Beasley takes over the starting small forward position. At power forward, Luis Scola takes over for the injured Channing Frye. Only Marcin Gortat and Jared Dudley return from last year's opening night lineup that lost to the eventual winner of the #1 over draft pick, New Orleans Hornets.
Oh yeah, remember that night? The Suns coulda won that game, but the Hornets scrapped and clawed and eventually pulled out the victory on the wings of a last-second miss by Jared Dudley. The game was painful to watch. Despite the Suns returning all their starters from a strong finish the prior season, they looked lethargic and unsure of their bearings. Sure, players were out of shape from the lockout, but it's not like the Hornets had any more time to prepare for the season than the Suns.
Let's hope that general malaise does not return this season.
Tonight, the Suns face the open-and-down Warriors, who defeated the Suns handily in Cali last week to the tune of a 15-point win. Were the Suns playing possum? Yes, of course they were! (say Suns fans).
Check out a Q n A I did with Nate at Golden State of Mind for more details on the Warriors.
- The Suns entire lineup and bench are healthy entering the season
- The Warriors entire projected starting lineup will play tonight, with Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry practicing fully yesterday for the first time in a while.
- Don't expect Bogut to start or play many minutes - he hasn't played competitive 5-on-5 basketball against another team in several months
- Watch out for Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson to light it up - they are a very strong, long and young wing rotation
Golden State Warriors Roster
The season is upon us, folks!
Let's get to it!