PHOENIX — Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash and forward Grant Hill will miss tonight’s game against the New Jersey Nets. Nash suffered a right quad contusion (charley horse) last night...

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This is it. The last home game before a five game road trip against some very tough competition. If the Suns are going to get themselves in some kind of rhythm it has to start tonight.

Let's get this win!

*Note: Word is that Michael Redd may start tonight according to Paul Coro of the AZ Republic

And now this:

Coach Gentry told the media that both @SteveNash and @realgranthill33 will sit out tonight's #SunsVsNets game.

— NBA Phoenix Suns (@PhoenixSuns) January 14, 2012

Supposedly Nash has a sore leg and Hill is still dealing with his sore right knee

Well, let's hope for the best...

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New Jersey Nets 110, Phoenix Suns 103 PHOENIX — Alvin Gentry will keep saying it, but it’ll mean nothing if nobody’s listening. “I’ll keep harping this season, NBA...

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This guy's been great.  Will his teammates follow suit?

Last night the Phoenix Suns lost a very winnable game at home to the Cleveland Cavaliers 101-90. Tonight, they will look to redeem themselves against another beatable opponent at home when they take on the New Jersey Nets at 7pm MST.

This will be the last home game and final opportunity for the Suns to begin to right the ship before entering into a brutal five-in-a-row away game stretch against some very tough opponents. Will Steve Nash be ready to lead the team to victory after playing 35 minutes last night? Can Michael Redd's legs already withstand a back-to-back after a very nice first game in a Suns uniform? Will Grant Hill be ready to contribute after a sore quadriceps muscle limited him to just 7 minutes and 0 points against the Cavs?

Read on for a full analysis of tonight's match-up.

Brief Overview of the Nets:

  • The Nets have lost three straight games and their current record is 2-9
  • Brook Lopez is still not playing due to a stress fracture in his right foot
  • Deron Williams leads the team in scoring (16.9) and assists (8.2)
  • Rookie Marshon Brooks is off to a great start averaging 14 points a game

Brief Overview of the Suns:

  • The Suns have lost two games in a row and their current record is 4-6
  • Rookie Markieff Morris continues to impress with his all-around game...currently averaging 9.2 points and 6.2 rebounds in only 21.6 minutes a game
  • Marcin Gortat leads the team in scoring and rebounding at 12.8 points and 7.6 rebounds a game
  • Grant Hill is recovering from a bruised quadriceps muscle in his right leg that limited him against the Cavs

Key to the Game:

The last two games that the Suns have lost they have also lost the rebounding battle, and if they are hoping to change things tonight I believe it will start on the glass.

Aside from Kris Humphries who has been playing very well in his post-Kardashian career, the Nets don't have another player averaging more than 5 rebounds a game. the Nets are averaging 39.8 rebounds a game while the Suns are averaging 42.1. While this certainly isn't a huge advantage, it shows that the Suns are more than capable of winning in this category tonight.

While Gortat has been playing very well, some have noticed that he doesn't box out as consistently as he should and sometimes loses the rebound because of it. Still, Gortat has been averaging a respectable 7.3 rebounds a game, and if he can get some help from players like Frye, Morris, Lopez, and Dudley who have also been pretty good in this department, then the Suns should be able to win the battle of the boards tonight.

Key Match-ups:

  • Steve Nash vs. Deron Williams - it's not often that Steve Nash goes up against an opposing point guard who is as skilled as he is in both scoring and passing, but Deron Williams is the exception. Williams is currently averaging 16.9 points and 8.2 assists while Nash is averaging 12.5 points and 10.1 assists. Will Nash be ready to go after playing extended minutes last night? The advantage here is that Nash doesn't have to lead the team in scoring while Williams must do it all. If the Suns can shut down, or at least slow down Williams, they should win.
  • Marcin Gortat/Robin Lopez vs. Mehmet Okur/Johan Petro - Okur has been coming off a back injury and may or may not start tonight. However, you can expect Okur to get the bulk of the minutes at the Center position while alternating with Johan Petro. Either way, Gortat and Lopez should be able to win their match-ups inside and this should be an area that the Suns exploit to help them win this game.
  • Channing Frye vs. Kris Humphries - Humphries has been playing at a very high level again this season while Frye has been inconsistent. One area that Frye has improved on is his rebounding, and he will need to continue to do this tonight against the former Mr. Kardashian who is averaging 10.4 rebounds a game.
  • Suns Bench vs. Nets Bench - The Suns bench has been playing very well this season thanks to Markieff Morris, Hakim Warrick, and now Michael Redd, while the Nets have received quality minutes from the likes of Jordan Farmar and Deshawn Stevenson. The Suns definitely have the advantage here with their depth, they just need more consistency from their back-up point guards and their wings...hopefully they get it tonight.

To sum it up, the Suns need this win...both as a confidence boost for this team and as a home game they need to win before embarking on a five game road trip. No excuses, jut win!

Other Game Day Links:

Nets vs Suns coverage

NetsDaily

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Michael Redd came out firing in his first game as a Sun (AP Photo/Matt York)

If you viewed this game as an NBA fan, you may have been entertained. As a Suns fan, it was just painful to watch the Phoenix Suns lose 101-90 to the Cleveland Cavaliers while allowing strong rookie PG Kyrie Irving to predictably torch the Suns for a Cavs season-high 26 points to go along with 6 assists.

The Suns' offense, as has become the standard this year, was spread out equally among a number of players, with 6 guys scoring between 10 and 16 points. Michael Redd came out Redd-hot (sorry), hitting his first two 3-pointers in the first quarter to chants of "MICHAEL REDD IS GOD" and other ridiculous things from the BSoTS Game Threads.

Unfortunately, the Suns' defense gave the Cavaliers a little boost in their power rankings, allowing Kyrie Irving to drive the lane at will and slacking off of one of the best three-point shooting teams in the NBA so far this year. It was a game that the Suns were "supposed" to win, but we all know that that means nothing, and has in fact been an area of weakness for Suns teams in the past.

The Cavs looked young and fast tonight, and the Phoenix Suns looked simultaneously like an aging squad and a young, inexperienced one.

The Suns lost the rebounding battle 39-47 and gave up 17 rebounds to Anderson Varejao, the other floppy-haired guy, and allowed the Cavs to shoot over 52% from three. It's quite difficult to win when you give those two categories away.

Click the jump for Game Notes and the RollCall!

Game Notes

Michael Redd was surprisingly in-tune in his Suns debut. He hit his first two threes early, followed shortly by a nice hook shot in the paint before he subbed out. It's apparent that he;s not totally in game shape yet, but that;s to be expected. Neither is Grant Hill.

Speaking of, what has been going on with Grant Hill? He only played for 7 minutes in this game mostly due to a bloody nose, but he hasn't looked like himself all year. I'd love to give Grant a lot of slack, but the Suns really need him to step up and start being his old perimeter defender self.

Michael Redd was more than we could have hoped for in his debut, with 12 points, most of which were scored early in the game. Later in the second half, he got tired and started missing short on shots, but I expect that to be remedied with improved conditioning and more practice.

Shannon Brown. What to say? He played more minutes (27) than any other bench player in this game, and he remains his usual inconsistent self. He looked really confident earlier in the game and was hitting outside shots, but he's been the definition of a streaky player, ending with 11 points on 3-9 shooting. Shannon is known for his fast-break abilities, but due to the dire lack of rebounding, he just hasn;t gotten the chance and has been forced to become a jump-shooter.

Robin Lopez looked pretty good in his 5 minutes in this game, notching 2 blocks. Wait, he only played 5 minutes? Lopez will continue to have issues getting playing time behind C Marcin Gortat, who is playing consistently at a high level and is currently 4th in All-Star voting (go vote for him now!). It's reminiscent of the situation Marcin was in before coming to Phoenix, when he was stuck behind Dwight Howard in the Magic's depth chart.

Cavaliers at Suns Boxscore

Phoenix Suns Fall To Kyrie Irving's Cavaliers, 101-90 - SB Nation Arizona
"The game was on the boards and we did a poor job on the boards and that's something we've got to take care of," Alvin Gentry said. "I told the guys that here's a team that shoots 43 percent against us and finds a way to win the game and that shouldn't be the case."

The answer Dudley gives about the rebounding is very interesting:




Roll Call: shawndy, Airwave, WaveOcean, Skii, PHXgp, phxuk: Ap, SunKing, flagsuns, TheAlexSkinner, Beavis 25, Aztiramtempe, noonoo, waxmonkey, Keith Owen Martin, SUNS PORTUGAL, rsavaj, Fritzy, Sun God, 2NASHTY, Larfleeze, East Bay Ray, forget, atkammoh, hcblankscreen, 2time, Lino Canaan, paulimer, raxado, jog, brian13, rzyn, Kevron, iwasneveryoung, MMotherwell, Wichita SunSteeler, SteveNash, QuantumPhysicist, rdgroce, SunsTopia, suns68, jatrex4suns, troglodytes, Will Smith, Seth Pollack, hubertdavisfor3, sonicking, Omaha Sun, Suns R Us, Dantre, ArizonaCactus, Migonads, Jim Coughenour, Spit_Fire, KJ7, thedoovage, Basketball GF, phxpurple, ilintar, Chafid Ahmad, AhwatukeeCoyote, the new Bradfather, SuperSteve, NASHTY777, jc79, TheRza82, Dragic_is_Magic, txzona, HarvMel
Total Users: 67
Total Posts: 1500
Total Threads: 2

Name # of Posts
shawndy 131
WaveOcean 120
Lino Canaan 119
Omaha Sun 100
hubertdavisfor3 89
Larfleeze 86
MMotherwell 75
Wichita SunSteeler 69
rdgroce 69
Aztiramtempe 47
raxado 42
PHXgp 30
atkammoh 29
Keith Owen Martin 27
rsavaj 26
noonoo 24
Beavis 25 23
rzyn 23
SUNS PORTUGAL 19
Spit_Fire 18
East Bay Ray 17
brian13 17
2time 15
2NASHTY 15
ArizonaCactus 15
Seth Pollack 13
Jim Coughenour 13
jatrex4suns 12
the new Bradfather 12
jog 12
phxpurple 12
Chafid Ahmad 11
TheRza82 10
Migonads 10
Dantre 10
phxuk: Ap 9
paulimer 9
flagsuns 9
Sun God 9
TheAlexSkinner 9
suns68 8
troglodytes 8
Airwave 7
KJ7 7
Suns R Us 6
Dragic_is_Magic 6
NASHTY777 5
sonicking 5
Kevron 5
ilintar 4
Will Smith 4
thedoovage 3
waxmonkey 3
forget 3
jc79 2
SuperSteve 2
SunsTopia 2
Basketball GF 2
hcblankscreen 2
Fritzy 2
SteveNash, QuantumPhysicist 2
Skii 2
txzona 1
HarvMel 1
iwasneveryoung 1
AhwatukeeCoyote 1
SunKing 1


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