The Phoenix Suns will try and recover from the Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl loss tonight when they face the eclectic Golden State Warriors. Suns Head Athletic Trainer, Aaron Nelson, is a rabid Steelers fan to the point that he actually loved this goofy jacket that Alvin Gentry bought him as a joke. Nellie is a pro so we can only assume he will put the disappointment aside and get the boys ready to play tonight.
The Warriors come into the game with what Coach Gentry called the best young back court in the NBA. Monta Ellis (who is on my fantasy team!) is scoring 25 points a game again this year and is reportedly playing with more maturity and team orientation. Ellis is nearly impossible to guard but on defense is a liability due to his small size. Look for the Suns to use Vince Carter posting him up just like Jason Richardson did when he was here.
Stephen Curry has been described as the next Steve Nash due to his combination of shooting and court vision and like Nash isn't known as a defensive player. This is one point guard match up where Nash might be the better defender thanks mostly to his experience.
In the front court, the Warriors have the rebounding duo of Andris Biedrins (8.5 rpg) and David Lee (9.5 rpg). But despite those two guys up front, the Warriors and the worst team in the league in defensive rebounding percentage thanks to the inconsistent play from the small forward position and the lack of back court size.
Historically, when these two teams meet the sparks fly and while the Suns have played an elite level of defense over their past 10 games, Gentry still expects a track meet.
"We're not going to score 90 (points) and win, not against that crew over there. But we never do. I think they're really fun games for the fans, I'm not real excited about them...They are very good offensively. We have to find a way to slow them down a little bit but keep the pace offensively ourselves," Gentry said.
The Suns will have the difficult task for trying to beat the same team twice in a row. The Warriors come back to Phoenix for a rematch on Thursday. "If we're going to stay in this race it's something we have to get done" Gentry said.
Former Sun Louis Amundson is questionable for tonight's game due (lower back strain) as is backup point guard Acie Law (wrist). Brandon Wright it out indefinitely due to his own back problems. The Suns will be without Goran Dragic again tonight, but he's expected to play on Thursday.
The game tips at 8:30 p.m. local time and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona and Sports 620 KTAR radio. Fans can follow along with other Suns fans at the live game thread at Bright Side of the Sun.