The games are real now as the pre-season comes to and end and the games now mean something more than buffers for a team with nine new faces. After a 4-3 record in the preparation season the Phoenix Suns open up against a familiar foe with lots of new faces.
One of, if not the most important factors of this season will be creating a new identity. The team is going to continue to run and score points in the system used over the past nine years, but establishing their defense, and half-court offense is going to be paramount.
"When you guys talk about us I want our identity to be that, man they play really hard, they compete like crazy," said Head Coach Alvin Gentry before the game on the teams potential identity.
That is the easy part. Playing with effort is Basketball 101 so hopefully that is not something he has to coach out of the team. With great energy players like Goran Dragic, Jared Dudley, Sebastian Telfair, and P.J. Tucker the volume of energy should be ratchet up to the max in all games.
The Golden State Warriors are a familiar team within the division, but pose new challenges with some good young players and the addition of a few veterans. They added veterans Richard Jefferson, Carl Landry, and Andrew Bogut to balance out the roster. Roy Williams came out tonight to watch his two former players Kendall Marshall (Suns) and Harrison Barnes (Warriors) in their NBA debut.
The starting line-ups were announced as:
PG - Goran Dragic v. Stephen Curry
SG - Jared Dudley v. Klay Thompson
SF - Michael Beasley v. Harrison Barnes