Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers brings the ball up court against the Toronto Raptors during the season opener at Quicken Loans Arena on December 26, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
The Phoenix Suns host the young Cleveland Cavaliers with top rookie, Kyrie Irving, at point.
The Phoenix Suns and the Cleveland Cavaliers have something in common. Both teams are the proud owners of 4-5 records on the season. The Cavs are in Phoenix Thursday for their fifth game on a seven-game road trip. They last played on Tuesday in Utah where they lost to the Jazz, 113-105.
The Cavs are led by first-overall draft pick, Kyrie Irving who has 16 points and five assists per game early in his rookie campaign. Veteran Antawn Jamison is playing his best ball in years according to Suns coach Alvin Gentry. He's averaging 17 points and six rebounds per game and shooting 42 percent from the field.
The Suns will get their first look at shooting guard Michael Redd on Thursday.
"We'll stick him in and see what's going to happen. Obviously it's going to be something that he builds up. He's not going to come in and play 25-30 minutes tonight," Gentry said. "There's always a place if you can create your own shot on a team."
Redd will likely see action early in the game. Gentry likes to get veteran players on the floor sooner rather than later so they are still warm from pregame stretching and warm-ups. Gentry said that they are going to look at starting Redd at some point although when will depend on how Redd looks coming off the bench and what his confidence level looks like.
The guy likely to lose minutes to Redd is Grant Hill.
"To me, Grant Hill is playing too many minutes," Gentry said. "We've got to try to find some relief for him in some way. I think it does take away from his offensive game when he has to work so hard defensively and he's out there for 34 minutes."
Hill is averaging 27 minutes per game but played 33 against the Lakers on Tuesday.
- Point guard: Steve Nash -- Kyrie Irving
- Shooting guard: Jared Dudley -- Anthony Parker
- Small forward: Grant Hill -- Omri Casspi
- Power forward: Channing Frye -- Antawn Jamison
- Center: Marcin Gortat -- Anderson Varejao
- Key subs: Suns (Markieff Morris, Shannon Brown, Michael Redd, Ronnie Price, Hakim Warrick, Robin Lopez). Cavs (Daniel Gibson, Alonzo Gee, Ramon Sessions, Semih Erden, Tristan Thompson)
TV Broadcast info:
The game tips at 7:00 p.m. Arizona time and will be broadcast on TV on Fox Sports Arizona Plus (channel finder) and on radio at Arizona Sports 620. Live game thread will be available at Bright Side of the Sun.
Game Preview: Cleveland Cavaliers at Phoenix Suns - Bright Side Of The Sun
A quick look at the Cavaliers shows some interesting (read: tough) matchups for the Suns. Top overall draft pick Kyrie Irving, who is quickly picking up this whole "NBA thing", presents a tough matchup for Steve Nash defensively. Steve has been known to torch rookie guards again and again on the offensive end, but he's also given up career high scoring numbers to young, strong point guards in the past. Ronnie Price could be extremely valuable in this regard, and we could see him coming in at SG to guard Irving.