PHOENIX — With the Phoenix Suns set to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves at 7pm MST in US Airways Center, head coach Alvin gentry weighed in on Ricky Rubio’s injury, the recent play of...

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Will the Suns be able to keep their momentum rolling tonight to get within one game of being at .500?

Let's go!


Who wants it more?

(Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE)

The Phoenix Suns are once again one of the hottest teams in the NBA...at least within the microcosm of the second half of the season thus far. Tonight the 19-21 Suns will once again take on the 21-21 Minnesota Timberwolves; the same team they began their 5-1 post NBA All-Star break winning spree with.

As for the Timberwolves, their start to the second half of the season hasn't been quite as fortunate. Their record since the All-Star break is a mediocre 3-3...but it gets worse. Rookie sensation and the closest thing to the Steve Nash of the next generation, Ricky Rubio, is out for the rest of the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee against the Lakers last Friday...Ouch!

The Timberwolves will be looking to salvage what was once such a promising season, and trying to right the ship now with Luke Ridnour taking over again as the starting point guard; and the Suns will be looking to continue their surprising surge in their quest for the playoffs against the steepest of odds. Who wants it more?

Read on after the jump for a breakdown of what to expect.

Here's a Look at the T-Wolves:


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Kevin Love 38 39.9 8.3 18.6 44.8 1.7 4.7 36.3 7.2 8.7 83.3 4.2 9.6 13.8 1.9 2.6 0.9 0.4 2.8 25.6
Nikola Pekovic 31 25.8 5.2 9.0 57.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.6 3.3 79.4 4.2 3.2 7.4 0.5 2.2 0.7 0.7 2.4 13.0
Michael Beasley 31 23.7 4.7 10.7 44.1 0.8 2.0 41.3 1.4 2.2 63.2 0.8 3.9 4.7 0.9 1.6 0.4 0.4 1.9 11.6
Luke Ridnour 40 32.3 4.4 9.9 44.2 1.0 3.0 32.8 1.8 2.1 88.0 0.3 2.2 2.5 3.8 1.5 1.0 0.3 2.6 11.5
Ricky Rubio 41 34.2 3.4 9.5 35.7 0.8 2.3 34.0 3.1 3.8 80.3 0.5 3.7 4.2 8.2 3.2 2.2 0.2 2.4 10.6
J.J. Barea 23 20.2 3.0 8.1 36.6 0.9 2.7 33.3 2.3 2.7 86.9 0.3 2.0 2.3 3.3 1.9 0.3 0.0 1.2 9.1
Derrick Williams 42 20.1 3.1 6.9 44.8 0.5 1.7 31.5 1.8 2.8 64.7 1.4 3.3 4.6 0.6 1.0 0.5 0.4 1.3 8.5
Martell Webster 23 19.4 2.2 5.2 42.0 0.7 2.1 33.3 1.3 1.7 74.4 0.5 2.3 2.8 0.4 0.8 0.6 0.4 1.7 6.3
Anthony Randolph 19 12.5 2.4 4.7 50.6 0.0 0.1 0.0 1.4 1.9 73.0 1.1 1.8 2.8 0.2 0.9 0.4 0.5 1.5 6.2
Wesley Johnson 41 21.9 2.5 6.4 39.8 0.7 2.5 28.4 0.3 0.5 57.1 0.4 2.2 2.6 0.8 1.0 0.6 0.6 1.7 6.1
Wayne Ellington 30 16.3 2.0 5.0 39.1 0.6 1.7 34.6 0.5 0.6 77.8 0.2 1.2 1.4 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.2 0.8 5.0
Darko Milicic 28 16.6 2.1 4.6 45.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.6 1.3 43.2 1.3 2.2 3.5 0.6 1.1 0.3 0.9 2.1 4.7
Anthony Tolliver 28 16.3 1.0 3.0 33.3 0.5 1.9 24.5 0.8 1.1 76.7 0.9 1.8 2.6 0.3 0.5 0.3 0.4 1.6 3.3
Brad Miller 7 6.1 0.1 0.9 16.7 0.1 0.1 100.0 0.7 0.9 83.3 0.0 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.7 0.0 0.0 0.4 1.1
Malcolm Lee 1 5.0 0.0 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 2.0 0.0 0.0


Looking at these stats it's pretty easy to tell who the backbone of this team is, and despite the hype (deservedly) surrounding Ricky Rubio and what a loss he is to the team, It's Kevin Love who's remains the franchise player. Now with Rubio out of the picture and with Luke Ridnour moving back the the point and Martell Webster starting at the two-guard spot, I'm thinking we'll see more of Michael Beasley than before, and as you can see from his stats he can be a significant contributor. If Minnesota has an x-factor besides Kevin Love, Michael Beasley is probably that guy.

Key Match-Ups:

Steve Nash vs. Luke Ridnour - Despite the obvious drop off in talent from Rubio, Luke Ridnour is actually a pretty decent point guard all things considered. Even in the disappointing loss Saturday night against the New Orleans Hornets, Luke scored 14 points and dished out 10 assists. Still, Steve Nash is in a league of his own...and I fully expect Nash to win this match-up handily. (Strong Advantage - Suns)

Channing Frye vs. Kevin Love - If there is one player on the T-Wolves who appears ready and willing to put the team on his back and carry them to the playoffs it's Kevin Love. In the first game after the Rubio injury when the rest of the team was playing out of sync, sloppy, and disorganized, Love posted 31 points and 16 rebounds after missing the prior game due to back spasms. Channing Frye will have his work cut out for him trying to keep Love off the glass and out of the paint, and while his defense and rebounding has been much improved this season, this will be the most favorable match-up for the Wolves to exploit tonight, and I expect them to do just that. (Advantage - Wolves)

Marcin Gortat vs. Nikola Pekovic - Pekovic has had a very impressive season thus far and was one of the unsung heroes of the T-Wolves impressive start to the season. He is averaging around 13 points and 7 rebounds a game, and has given the Wolves a tough presence inside. But the Suns have a pretty impressive big man themselves. Marcin Gortat is averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds a game and is also one of the best defensive centers in the league as well. This won't be an easy game for Gortat, but I still expect him to get the best of this match-up. (Advantage - Suns)

Suns' Bench vs. T-Wolves' Bench - This is a tough one to call. On one hand the Suns' bench has been playing well lately despite having issues in the past, while the T-Wolves' bench is ripe with talent but hasn't produced up to expectations. Players like Derrick Williams, Michael Beasley, and even Wayne Ellington have all shown they can be game changers at times, but none of them have done so consistently. If the Suns bench continues to play well, and Gentry continues to mix the reserves with the starters like he has done recently then the Suns bench should have the upper hand, but if any of those Wolves reserves above have a big night that could change. (Slight Advantage - Suns)

Hypothesis:

The Timberwolves didn't fare very well in their first game without Rubio on Saturday night, and tonight's game will be their first of a seven game road trip that could very well make or break the season for them. This is a team who hasn't made the playoffs since 2004, and losing Rubio likely sucked all their momentum and hope right out the window. I believe they are still reeling from the loss of their young star, and I doubt they will be in the right frame of mind to will themselves to a victory. The Suns have won the last nine match-ups in a row against the Timberwolves, and I don't expect that trend to change tonight.


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 Minnesota Timberwolves 127, Phoenix Suns 124 The Phoenix Suns look to continue their surprising push for a playoff spot when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday night. For those of you...

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With March Madness just around the corner, I wanted to put together some videos showing my favorite college prospects to watch during the NCAA tournament who I believe could be of interest to the Phoenix Suns in the up-coming draft.

This first video is about the five point guards who I believe could be realistic options for the Phoenix Suns in the coming draft. I will also be making two more videos shortly, one for wings and the other for big men as well.

The official selection of the 68 teams who made it into the NCAA tournament hadn't occurred yet at the time I made this video, and both Tony Wroten of the Washington Huskies and Damian Lillard of Weber State did not make the cut. However, the other three point guards in this video (Kendall Marshall, Tyshawn Taylor, and Scott Machado) will all be playing in the NCAA tournament starting this week, and they are all players that I believe could help the Suns if they chose to draft them in either the first or second round.

Read on after the jump to view the video...

With the draft still months away it's impossible to know exactly what direction the Suns will choose to go regarding the players they may be interested in. Still, I wanted to identify some of my personal favorite point guards in college this season that the Suns could pick either in the first or second round, depending on their needs.

I tried to make the video as informative as possible so that even if you aren't an avid fan of college basketball you could still learn about these players. If you are a fan of college basketball then you are probably familiar with most of these players. However, some of these players are from smaller schools that don't get much coverage, so who knows, you still may learn a thing or two.

Take a look at the video below and let me know what you think!



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