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Suns are competing hard without Nash and Hill tonight. 12 offensive rebounds in the half! We can win this.


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Can you feel the love tonight?


Will the Suns have the energy to stay with the Nuggets tonight?

The second game of the Suns back to back to back this week takes them to Denver to face a banged-up Nuggets squad. George Karl's Nuggets are missing leading scorer Danilo Gallinari and leading rebounder Nene Hilario to injury, and have won only 2 of 6 games this month.

Steve Nash and the Suns will attempt to bounce back from cold long-range shooting against the Warriors in Oakland last night. Suns starters shot only 4-18 from behind the arc, and the offense again stagnated down the stretch as the Suns fell to 13th place in the Western Conference with a 102-96 loss.

As the Suns near the halfway point of the season (this will be their 29th game out of 66) and the trade deadline is only a month away, they don't have much time left to make a move in the standings before it's time to focus even more attention on next season, and possibly make more roster moves.

Will the Suns give us something to love in this game on Valentine's Day? Or will Suns fans take a walk down lonely street to Heartbreak Hotel?

The Nuggets are the league's highest scoring team at 103.9 points per game, and play with the fastest pace. Suns fans who have been watching their matchups with the Nuggets are well-acquainted with the Nuggets' fast, explosive offense. In the last three regular season games between the teams, the Nuggets put up 138, 132 and 116 points, then ran the Suns into the ground twice this pre-season for good measure.

Injuries to Gallinari and Nene will help the Suns cause, but the Nuggets are still a dangerous team. They just snapped a 5-game losing streak but those losses were to the Lakers, Blazers, Rockets, Mavs and Warriors, all of whom the Suns are looking up at in the standings.

Probable starters:


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
Danilo Gallinari 25 32.9 5.2 11.7 44.7 1.4 4.5 31.3 5.2 5.8 89.0 0.7 4.5 5.2 2.6 1.6 1.2 0.6 1.9 17.0
Ty Lawson 25 34.6 5.9 12.8 46.4 0.9 3.0 31.1 3.0 3.8 78.9 0.9 2.6 3.5 6.5 2.4 1.5 0.0 1.6 15.8
Al Harrington 28 26.9 5.6 11.9 47.6 1.5 4.6 32.3 1.9 2.7 71.1 1.1 4.8 5.9 1.3 2.0 1.1 0.3 2.8 14.7
Nene Hilario 23 30.6 5.2 10.0 52.0 0.0 0.1 0.0 3.0 4.8 63.6 1.6 6.2 7.8 2.0 2.6 1.2 0.8 2.2 13.4
Arron Afflalo 25 30.1 3.9 9.1 43.2 1.2 3.2 38.3 2.5 3.1 79.5 0.6 2.0 2.6 1.6 1.3 0.6 0.2 2.2 11.6
Andre Miller 28 29.5 4.1 8.7 47.1 0.4 1.4 30.0 2.0 2.7 76.0 0.8 3.0 3.8 6.6 2.3 1.2 0.2 1.7 10.7
Rudy Fernandez 24 24.5 3.3 7.5 44.2 1.3 4.2 32.0 1.1 1.6 71.1 0.3 2.0 2.4 2.6 1.4 1.0 0.1 1.4 9.1
Corey Brewer 21 17.0 3.1 6.2 49.6 0.6 1.4 43.3 1.7 2.5 66.0 0.8 2.0 2.8 0.7 1.0 1.0 0.4 1.5 8.5
Timofey Mozgov 21 17.3 2.4 4.5 53.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.9 1.4 63.3 0.9 3.6 4.5 0.7 1.3 0.2 1.2 2.2 5.7
Kenneth Faried 8 11.8 1.6 3.4 48.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.6 2.6 61.9 1.5 3.4 4.9 0.4 0.6 0.0 1.1 1.8 4.9
Chris Andersen 20 13.4 1.6 2.9 55.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.4 2.1 64.3 1.3 2.7 4.0 0.1 0.5 0.7 1.1 1.6 4.6
Kosta Koufos 21 14.3 1.8 3.3 55.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.9 1.3 67.9 1.6 3.0 4.6 0.2 1.0 0.4 0.6 1.8 4.5
Jordan Hamilton 4 5.0 1.3 2.8 45.5 0.8 1.5 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.5 1.0 0.5 0.8 0.3 0.0 0.3 3.3
Julyan Stone 8 9.9 0.9 1.9 46.7 0.1 0.8 16.7 0.1 0.3 50.0 0.6 1.4 2.0 1.6 0.6 0.4 0.4 0.9 2.0

This will be another game in which the Suns' best chance will be to keep the pace moderate and limit the turnovers that the Nuggets can convert to running opportunities. The Suns simply don't have the athletes to get into a track meet with the Nuggets, especially in the thin air of Denver and having played the previous night.



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Denver Nuggets 109, Phoenix Suns 92 They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. Well the Denver Nuggets should be quite fond of Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, and Nene when they host the Phoenix...

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Shhh, try not to talk about such things that might be depressing to the fan base.

No surprises here, the Phoenix Suns future is not so bright. According to a couple of ESPN "analysts" the Suns are 29th on their "Future Power Rankings". And just to be clear, that's on a scale of 1 to 30 so 29 is bad but not quite as bad as the Bobcats.

ESPN's NBA Future Power Rankings: 26-30 - ESPN
Besides Steve Nash, Marcin Gortat and Jared Dudley, every other player on the roster who gets significant minutes has a PER below the league average.

At the end of the day, who really cares where these guys ranks the Suns on their fancy list. 29th. 27th. 23rd. That doesn't matter. What matters is the core truth exposed revealed reminded by this ranking.

This Suns team has a) a few questionable long-term contracts thanks to Robert Sarver's panic spending in the wake of Amare's departure b) only one real prospect on the roster (Markieff Morris) thanks to some questionable drafting (Earl Clark, Robin Lopez) and c) one fewer first round pick and one fewer young point guard thanks to a failed trade last year.

Oh, and Happy Valentines Day! Try not to let this "news" get you down. Try eating some chocolate, that's often helps.

Also try and remember that these things have a way of turning around sometimes.

Remember how bad things looked for the Diamondbacks in July 2010? Remember last week when the Knicks didn't have a point guard and Mike D'Antoni was about to get canned?

There's a couple of truths in life for situations like this: Things change in unexpected ways and ESPN Analysts aren't all-knowing gods.

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