Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
Some things are bigger than basketball and we saw that today with the events home and abroad. It will not be an easy task to suit up with that news still fresh, but the teams will try to provide a distraction for at the very least a brief moment.
The Phoenix Suns (8-15) host the Utah Jazz (13-10) for the second time this season with both teams coming off of signature wins, but the visiting team has had the number of the Suns big man. On the road against the Jazz Gortat has been a ghost averaging a meek 7.25 PPG with 9.5 RPG and 1.25 BPG. This is a big front-line and they do that to a lot of very good players throughout the season, but it clearly is something that has been in the Polish Hammer's mind since last season.
Then again at home (both wins) Gortat manages to make his mark with 18 PPG, 6 RPG, on 68% from the field.
Gortat has the ability to play at a high level when he is engaged and committed to defense, but when he is struggling from the field it seems to effect his overall game. This is an important game for the team as they have some sense of momentum after the big upset over the Memphis Grizzlies -- while the Jazz are still flying high off of their buzzer beating win over the San Antonio Spurs -- making this an early season barometer of each team's ability to sustain momentum.
C - Marcin Gortat v. Al Jefferson
Inactives Suns: None
Ty Corbin's Take:
"They are building something and we are building something, we have the edge on them because we have been together for a few years. In this league it takes time to build chemistry and figure things out. At this point in the season we are continuing to grow as a team, as they are."
"These guys play hard (Suns). They just had a big win against Memphis and they are certainly a capable ball club and they are a good opponent for us. They play a different style and a different pace, it is fast and they speed the game up. Also they have shown they can get down and come back to have a heck of a ball game. We need to understand and play with a sense of urgency. "
40 Games and counting...
That is home many games it has been since Shannon Brown dropped 32 points on the Spurs. Or, simply the last time a Suns player scored 30+ points in a game. When does the streak end?