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:
Supposedly Nash has a sore leg and Hill is still dealing with his sore right knee
Well, let's hope for the best...
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:
Brief Overview of the Suns:
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.
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:
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!
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.
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:
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