Both teams are entering the season with new optimism. The Phoenix Suns have basically started over, rebooting their hopes and dreams with a new starting point guard and small forward to replace you-know-who and you-know-who-else. In addition, there's a new starting power forward to replace the enlarged-hearted incumbent.

Beginning tonight, the Suns will trot out a healthy Opening Night lineup that doesn't boast Steve Nash and Grant Hill as two of the starters for the first time in six years.

Beginning tonight, the Suns will trot out an Opening Night starting point guard with boring hair for the first time in nine years.

For the first time in just as many years, the offense's production will be unpredictable.

Goran Dragic will run the point for the Suns, while Michael Beasley takes over the starting small forward position. At power forward, Luis Scola takes over for the injured Channing Frye. Only Marcin Gortat and Jared Dudley return from last year's opening night lineup that lost to the eventual winner of the #1 over draft pick, New Orleans Hornets.

Oh yeah, remember that night? The Suns coulda won that game, but the Hornets scrapped and clawed and eventually pulled out the victory on the wings of a last-second miss by Jared Dudley. The game was painful to watch. Despite the Suns returning all their starters from a strong finish the prior season, they looked lethargic and unsure of their bearings. Sure, players were out of shape from the lockout, but it's not like the Hornets had any more time to prepare for the season than the Suns.

Let's hope that general malaise does not return this season.

Tonight, the Suns face the open-and-down Warriors, who defeated the Suns handily in Cali last week to the tune of a 15-point win. Were the Suns playing possum? Yes, of course they were! (say Suns fans).

Check out a Q n A I did with Nate at Golden State of Mind for more details on the Warriors.


  • The Suns entire lineup and bench are healthy entering the season
  • The Warriors entire projected starting lineup will play tonight, with Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry practicing fully yesterday for the first time in a while.
  • Don't expect Bogut to start or play many minutes - he hasn't played competitive 5-on-5 basketball against another team in several months
  • Watch out for Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson to light it up - they are a very strong, long and young wing rotation
Warriors roster:

The season is upon us, folks!

Let's get to it!

Will the Suns win tonight?

  149 votes | Results


Questions from Dave/BSotS. Answers from Nate/GSOM

What's the immediate and long-term future for Steph Curry? Will he play on Wednesday, and how many games do you see him playing for Golden State for the rest of his career?

Nate: Curry is expected to play Wednesday and beyond that I simply can't say right now what his future looks like. Though there are varying feelings about his ankle among Warriors fans, I'm still holding my breath with nearly every step he takes - yes, his last tweak in Portland was more of a random freak accident, but when these things keep happening it's hard for it not to be in the back of your mind. In terms of locking him up for the future, what complicates things is that the team as it stands now is simply not very good without him on the floor - so the question of whether we should keep him around really comes down to whether we're willing to wait yet another few years to even have hope of competing for the playoffs. It's a tough pill to swallow.

How's Andrew Bogut looking? And, will he play on Wednesday?

Nate: We got great news the other day with the Warriors announcing that Bogut practiced, but given that he hasn't been able to play 5 on 5 basketball in a long time the other question is how much he would play even if he did take the floor on Wednesday. I would love to see him get some run off the bench in the 15-20 minute range for the opener and just rely more heavily on rookie center Festus Ezeli or other frontcourt combinations while Bogut gets into game shape.

Going into Wednesday's game, what's your biggest concern with the Warriors as a team (defense, rebounding, offense, coaching)?

Nate: Regardless of what any of us think about Mark Jackson as a coach, coaching has to be the biggest "concern" in the sense that he's still an inexperienced coach who has been tasked with bringing together a team with some uncertainty (Bogut & Curry injuries; will Andris Biedrins ever wake up again?) and some new pieces to integrate (the rookies as well as free agents Carl Landry & Jarrett Jack). Bringing together a unit like that is a tough task for any coach, much less one with less than a full NBA season of coaching experience in his life. So it's really hard to talk about any of the other areas - defense would otherwise sit atop my list of concerns - without starting with how the coaching staff is going to bring this unit together.

Alternately, what's their biggest strength, in your mind?

Nate: Well, obviously scoring - at full strength, this team will have no problem scoring, scoring often, and - with the number of 3-point shooters they have - scoring efficiently. Even post-Monta Ellis trade and pre-tank mode last season the team showed the ability to score with less talent, led by Klay Thompson's steady improvement over the course of his rookie year. The prospect of having two big men who can score and pass surrounded by shooters - Curry, Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Brandon Rush - is really exciting. But again, it comes down to a) health and b) how well the coaching staff can maximize the possibilities of this roster.

Which Warrior is playing the best right now, heading into the season?

Nate: You could go a few ways with the answer to that question, but I think one thing that has really stood out for me is Harrison Barnes' improvement since his last game at UNC to summer league to the preseason - it has been quite impressive. He's improved in almost every aspect of the game on both ends of the floor and that's why he was named the starter. If I were to sum it up quickly, I'd probably say that the most noticeable improvement is that he's more patient with the ball in his hands and I think that allows him to complement the guys around him much better than the otherwise would. But the bottom line is that I'm much more excited about Barnes' potential now than I was on draft day just because he's obviously someone who's constantly working to improve his game.

What else should we know about the Warriors?

Nate: This might be the best Warriors frontcourt at least since the Chris Webber year and you could easily go back further than that. And by that I mean that a full post rotation actually exists. Obviously the strength of the frontcourt depends heavily on Bogut's health, but Ezeli is looking like a steal at 30th pick in the draft, you know what you're getting from David Lee, and Carl Landry is a solid addition off the bench. Anything the Warriors get from the likes of Biedrins, Draymond Green, or Jeremy Tyler would be a bonus; last year, Biedrins and Tyler earned starts at various times. Don't get me wrong, even with Bogut available this frontcourt has its share of deficiencies, but the point is that this franchise hasn't had a frontcourt anywhere near this strong in some Warriors fans' lifetimes. That's something tangible to believe in.

Finally, what's your prediction for the game?

Nate: Hmmm, a road game against a team that is expected to be close to us in the division...I'm hoping for a win, as always, but coming into this expecting a loss, unfortunately. We have a rookie starting at small forward and can't be sure what the frontcourt rotation will look like until they hit the floor. Again, there's just a lot of adjusting going on and no matter what we think of the Suns it'll be tough to win given the circumstances. I'm just looking forward to seeing the whole roster in action and getting a glimpse of what could be, to be honest.


It's the time folks. Roll up your sleeves and prepare for a season of remote controlling your way through 82 games. You've had a few preseason games to work your fingers into shape. You've had all offseason to work off that extra beer and pizza weight from last season (ha! as if you worked out!!!) and now it's time.

4pm PT / 7pm ET Wizards vs Cavs on NBALP (free for two weeks!)

This game might not excite you based on the teams but at least it features a couple of young...oh, hell, it's the first game so just watch!

5pm PT / 8pm ET Boston vs Miami on TNT

These two teams hate each other. Will KG eat LeBron? Will Rondo punch Ray Allen in the nuts? Anything is possible...it's the NBA!!

7:30pm PT / 10:30pm ET LA Lakers vs Dallas on TNT

Admit it, you want to see Steve Nash play his first game as a Laker. You might not want to watch, but you have to watch. So watch.

Let's get ready to rumble!

Bring it!!

Game on!!!


There was a time not too long ago (at least it doesn't feel like it was that long ago) when the Phoenix Suns were must-watch TV. They were given the best slots on the national networks and they held the position as the darlings of the NBA. EVERYONE tuned in to see the Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Marion show.

Good times. Good times indeed.

Now after a couple of years in the lottery and the departure of the three above mentioned stars, the Suns are "rebuilding"....or "retooling"...or "reloading". Whatever they are redoing, it doesn't promise to be that attractive to NBA fans outside the increasingly declining base of dedicated denizens of Planet ORNG. (Are we still saying that?)

Sometimes, outside national writers are stuffed full of Joe Biden's malarky. Sometimes, they are just telling us what we don't want to hear.

Check out what my colleague and office mate Mike Prada had to say about the Suns in his annual NBA Watchability Index -- which, by the way, is highly readable.


Dominance: 3. The Suns won't be completely hopeless next year, but I would be shocked if they made the playoffs.

WOW factor: 4. Goran Dragic is good for a handful of highlights a year.

Drama: 4. It'll be interesting to see how Dragic and company handle close games. The Suns' home atmosphere has traditionally been pretty good, but it'll be tested this year.

Aesthetic Beauty: 7. The Suns won't have Steve Nash, but as long as they have Alvin Gentry, they will still play an open style that emphasizes quick passing and few isolations. Things will flow pretty seamlessly, mostly because Gentry insists that his players take open shots when they are there.

Intrigue: 4. The novelty of watching a Suns team without Steve Nash will wear off after a while, but at least, initially, it'll be there.

Hilarity scale: +1. Add one point for all of Luis Scola's up fakes. Add one point for Michael Beasley. Subtract one point for Michael Beasley.

TOTAL: 23. The Suns should be an interesting bad team, but the absence of marquee players makes them a tough sell for the casual fan.

Do you agree with where the Suns are ranked in the Watchability Index?

  184 votes | Results

PHOENIX — For the past two seasons Steve Nash has propped up a roster lacking talent and athleticism, somehow waving his magic wand to propel the Phoenix Suns to the edge of the playoff picture...

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