The Suns began the game with a starting five of Goran Dragic, Archie Goodwin, Gerald Green, Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat. Meanwhile, the Spurs didn't rest any of their big three (Duncan, Parker and Ginobili) but surprisingly elected to give young Kawhi Leonard the day off, rolling with a starting group of Tony Parker, Danny Green, Corey Maggette, Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter.
The Suns began running from the very start, with Gerald Green and Marcin Gortat leading the way. Both teams' "stars" played sparingly today. The Suns dynamic duo of guards didn't play much and weren't great in their limited minutes. Goran Dragic went to the bench after 07:32 of play and an 0-3 shooting start and got the rest of the night off. Eric Bledsoe then checke din and struggled mightily with his shooting and shot selection initially, missing all of his first eight shots before finding some rhythm and making his next three shots to finish with 7 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists in 16 minutes of play.
Tim Duncan played 22 minutes (more than any Suns starter) and finished with 12 points and 4 rebounds. Tony Parker went for 11 points in 19 minutes and Manu Ginobili came off the bench in his sixth man role to play 22 minutes, tallying 11 points, 5 assists and 2 rebounds.
Marcin Gortat was very good in his limited playing time, tallying 6 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and a block in 17 minutes.
Gerald Green took the most shots of any player in the game, finishing with 19 points in 19 minutes on 8-15 shooting and making some difficult shots he'd probably miss most of the time. He also had the easiest-looking windmill dunk I might have ever seen.
Dionte Christmas provided a great spark off the bench and finished with 14 points in 19 minutes, including 3-4 from beyond the three point arc. If he can keep making those threes, he'll have a great shot of sticking to this roster.
PJ Tucker bullied his way to 14 points off the bench in just 14 minutes in typical PJ Tucker fashion, finishing strong drives and bulldozing his way to the hope. He even made a couple jumpers!
Alex Len played the most minutes of any Sun and although he struggled and looked tentative initially, he finished the game in strong fashion and looked better overall tonight than in the last two games. He finished with 6 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks in 25 minutes, finishing inside and making a long jumper. That rebounding rate is the most impressive sign at this early stage of his career.
Archie Goodwin started the game alongside Goran Dragic and played nearly 20 minutes, finishing with 6 points and 3 rebounds on 3-7 shooting from the field. He looked great on a strong drive and while finishing an alley-oop pass from Marshall but understandably needs to improve his feel for the game.
Kendall Marshall didn't stand out statistically (5 points and 1 assist in 12 minutes) but he played well and showed an improved jumpshot (1-2 from the three point line).
The biggest takeaway from the game is that these Suns, no matter what, will look to run and push the pace against anyone. It remains to be seen how much success they'll have in the regular season but so far, they're undefeated. Andrew Wiggins who?
The 2-0* Phoenix Suns will take on the 1-0* San Antonio Spurs, the reining Western Conference champions, in a rivalry-fueled game with great consequences. Well, not really...but a Suns-Spurs match-up should be enough to get you excited, right? Even last year's abysmal season featured a fantastic duel between the two teams in which Wes Johnson made perhaps the only memorable play of his Suns career.
Who: Phoenix Suns vs. San Antonio Spurs
What: An NBA preseason game
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
When: 11:30AM PST, October 13, 2013
Why: Because Suns vs. Spurs
How: Listen live on AZ Sports 620. Follow the game live on this game thread!
The Suns went with a fairly normal starting five in their first preseason game, then shuffled pieces around in their second by moving Goran Dragic to the bench and starting Marcus Morris for the sake of experiment. Since it's pointless trying to predict what changes Hornacek will make to his lineup today, let's just go with the probable regular season starters (this will not likely be accurate).
PG - Eric Bledsoe
SG - Goran Dragic
SF - PJ Tucker
PF - Markieff Morris
C - Marcin Gortat
The Spurs have only played one game thus far in the preseason, an overtime thriller against CSKA Moscow in which Patty Mills hit a game-winner to lead the Spurs to victory. Yes, CSKA Moscow. Yes, Patty Mills. There's another reminder that this is preseason.
PG - Tony Parker
SG - Danny Green
SF - Kawhi Leonard
PF - Tim Duncan
C - Tiago Splitter
Eric Bledsoe vs. Tony Parker - This is the match-up I'm most excited about. Both players are small, quick guards with somewhat similar offensive styles. Obviously, Parker is far more experienced and is the better player at this point in their respective careers but this should be a good (preseason) test for Bledsoe.
Goran Dragic vs. Danny Green/Manu Ginobili - Dragic is sure to see at least a few minutes against both Green and Ginobili. The former is a catch-and-shoot guard with size who loves shooting off screens, which is the type of player Dragic and the rest of the Suns team often had trouble defending last season. Meanwhile, Ginobili is a crafty veteran who plays similarly to Dragic. The contrast between Green and Ginobili greatly helped San Antonio last year.
Marcin Gortat vs. Tiago Splitter - Splitter received a nice extension from the Spurs this offseason, while Gortat hopes to earn a contract at least in the same range in 2014. Although this is just preseason, match-ups like these are the ones Gortat needs to use to showcase his skills and prove his worth in this season of audition.