Let's get weird.

Isaiah Thomas will be out for the fifth-straight game, but this is the most rested that the Suns will be for the next four days. A win over the Mavs in Dallas would probably be the biggest achievement for the Suns' season thus far. Everyone knows that their guards can't defend a busted-up rocking horse, so let's hope for a big game from the Slash Brothers.

Let's get it on!

Mark Look at that… P.J. Tucker starts and the Suns win. What makes him so valuable to the starting lineup? I will begin by saying I am not sure how much more valuable Tucker is over Marcus...

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Editor’s note: Every Friday starting today, Scott Chasen will take a look at the past week of the Suns’ D-League affiliate, the Bakersfield Jam. The Bakersfield Jam have gotten off to a...

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Eric Bledsoe loves the Mavericks. Get in on the FanDuel tournament with promo code SBSUNS.

FanDuel Tourney #3 Tonight!

SB Nation FanDuel tournament number three is coming up on Friday. We've got a $5 entry, room for 110 entries. $100 to first, top 20 get paid. Below is enough information to at least put you in contention to be the big winner. I stake my entire reputation on it. So read the goodies I've included, then scroll back to the top and use this link to put together your winning lineup. Did I say use #FanDuelSBN to brag about your lineup? Use #FanDuelSBN to brag about your lineup.

Phantasy Phix

Your Suns are spending the weekend in Texas with games against Dallas and Houston. They enter the road trip coming off a win, a 116-99 defeat of the Pacers on Wednesday. I'm told that before Indiana they played games against the Magic and the Nuggets, but I've been unable to locate any detaisl of those two matchups.

Who loves the Mavericks?

Eric Bledsoe. I mean Eric Bledsoe really loves Dallas. On December 21st he hit 9 of 12 shots and went 3 of 4 from three for 25 points. He stepped it up even more in the final matchup on April 12th. 11 of 15 from the field, 2 of 2 from behind the arc for 29 points, his third highest output last season.

Who hates the Mavericks?

Gerald Green. Green struggled shooting the ball against Dallas last season. Things started off well, with a 6 of 10, 22 point effort on December 21st. Then things turned sour. Green shot 4 of 13 on January 17th, then 2 of 9 in a 9 point effort on April 12th in the series finale.

Who loves the Rockets?

P.J. Tucker. Last season Tucker shot better than 60% from the field when attempting at least 10 shots on four occasions. Half of those came against Houston. On December 4th he scored 18 points on 8 of 13 shooting, and on February 5th he tallied 13 points, going 6 of 10 from the field.

Who hates the Rockets?

Isaiah Thomas. IT started off on a high note last season against Houston, shooting 7 of 12 from the field and scoring 19 points on December 15th. Things went downhill from there. Shooting percentages of 37% and 35% followed, before a 4 of 14, 12 point effort in the fourth and final matchup of the season.

Who loves the Suns?

Monta Ellis. Ellis scored 37 points against Phoenix on April 12th, tied for the most points he scored all season. He hit 15 of 23 field goals, the most shots he hit in 2013-14.

Patrick Beverley. On February 23rd of last season, Beverly hit 50% of his shots from the field and behind the arc to score 20 against Phoenix, tied for his season high.

Who hates the Suns?

Tyson Chandler. Chandler only got one crack at Phoenix last year, and it wasn't much to watch. There were only three games last season in which he failed to make a field goal. One of those came against the Suns. In 29 minutes he shot 0 of 4 from the field and tallied a single point.

James Harden. Harden really hates the Suns. Get ready for these numbers. Last season Harden had a pair of 23 point performances, both on underwhelming 40% shooting in February. Ok, get ready. On December 4th, Harden shot 3 of 17 from the field, and 0 of 10 from behind the arc. It was easily his worst shooting night of the season. He did managed to total 14 points by hitting all 8 attempts from the free throw line.

Last Call

Now you're ready to get paid. Forget scrolling to the top, I'll save you some time. Here's the link again to get in on Friday night's SB Nation FanDuel tournament. Post your lineup in the comment section and use #FanDuelSBN to show off your GM skills.

The Suns kick off a cruel four-games-in-five-days stretch tonight in Dallas.

The Good Guys: The Phoenix Suns, 11-8 and fresh off another whooping of the Pacers.

The Bad Guys: The Dallas Mavericks, 15-5 and last seen escaping Milwaukee with a buzzer-beating win.

Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas

When: 6:30PM Arizona time

The Tube: Fox Sports AZ

After a road-trip consisting of Eastern turkeys and a brief homestand consisting of winnable games, the Suns will be in survival mode for the next five days. Survival as in don't get hurt, try and stay competitive, and try not to lose all four of these games.

This is not the proper prescription for a Suns team that is still waiting for that first stretch of really good basketball to kick in, and unfortunately they might have to be content with trading blows for the next month and more. From tonight to January 13, the Suns will play 15 of 21 games on the road.

Last year's push up the standings began on game 19. This time around we may have to wait a bit longer.

But hey, the Suns and Mavs always seem to play each other close, so turn that frown upside-down and enjoy tonight's game.

Starting Lineups

Phoenix Suns Dallas Mavericks
G - Eric Bledsoe G - Jameer Nelson
G - Goran Dragic G - Monta Ellis
F - P.J. Tucker F - Chandler Parsons
F - Markieff Morris F - Dirk Nowitzki
C - Miles Plumlee C - Tyson Chandler

The Opponent

The Mavs might be the only team with a more crowded situation at point guard than the Suns, with Jameer Nelson, Devin Harris and J.J. Barea all battling for minutes, and this is without the injured Raymond Felton. None of this really matters, though, since the real meat of the Mavs' attack is Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons and the uber-efficient Brandan Wright.

Dallas is a venerable buzzsaw on offense, detailed here by Grantland's Zach Lowe. They have surpassed 130 points twice already this season, and have yet to lose a single game in which they scored over 100 (15-0). They are also 0-5 when scoring 100 points or fewer, so the Suns' best chance to steal a win might be with their 12th-ranked defense.

(yes, a 12th-ranked defense is worth noting in Phoenix)

On the flipside for the Mavs, they don't defend all that well (16th overall) and are 29th in DRB%. They also allow opponents to shoot an obscene .398 from 3, so this is not a impenetrable fortress by any means. If the Suns can play some D and hit some 3's, they'll have a chance.

Last Matchup, L 98-101

The Suns dropped a crucial game in Dallas on 4/12/14 after leading for most of the way. This all but cemented their exclusion from the playoffs, as their only chance at that point was beating the Grizzlies, which is impossible. Eric Bledsoe notched 29 points on 15 shots. Goran Dragic dragged his damaged ankle around the court for 40 painful-to-watch minutes, scoring only 13 points on 18 shots.

Injury Report

Isaiah Thomas is currently listed as questionable; we'll add an update if/when one comes along. The Mavs are only missing Raymond Felton. In other words, they are 100% for tonight's game.

UPDATE: Thomas is out again, per Paul Coro.


The Suns can steal a win if Dragic and Bledsoe can carry over their virtuoso performance from Tuesday's game. The Suns should have even firepower to keep it close in the fourth, especially if Thomas can make his return from injury. This Mavericks team is just too dang good at getting easy buckets though, so it'll take a special night for the Suns to escape with a win.

See you at tip-off. In the meantime, enjoy some vintage Suns/Mavs from 2005.

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