Guess what? This is an important game for the Phoenix Suns. If you need to understand why, read this. If you need to understand why, you haven't been paying attention for the last two weeks. If you need to understand why, you wouldn't be reading this preview of the Suns (31-29) vs. the Portland Trail Blazers (tanking).
To get a feel for how bad things are in Rip City, read this from the Blazersedge preview:
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Phoenix Suns Preview - Blazer's Edge
In case you've been under a rock (or baking on top of one in Phoenix) "everything else" includes LaMarcus Aldridge being out for the remainder of the year undergoing hip surgery, guards not playing defense, guards not getting back in transition, guards committing turnovers, a clueless second unit (particularly on defense), lack of team rebounding, lack of talent and/or stamina at the big positions, extreme over-reliance on deep jumpers, not much adherence to any kind of game plan, rampant ball-hoggery, and the sinking feeling that there's nothing left to play for this year. Plus Portland point guard Raymond Felton, the only thing resembling an NBA playmaker on staff, will not play tonight.
On the injury front, Steve Nash reported feeling much better (hip) and should be good to go. Grant Hill (knee) is a game-time decision. He landed wrong on his recently surgically fixed knee in his last game and could be held out to help him be ready for Kevin Durant on Wednesday.
For the Blazers, the injury list is too long, but here's the projected lineups.
- Point guard: Steve Nash --- Jonny Flynn (who couldn't play in Houston)
- Shooting guard: Shannon Brown -- Wesley Matthews
- Small forward: Jared Dudley -- Nic Batum (may not play)
- Power forward: Channing Frye -- J.J. Hickson (waived by the Kings)
- Center: Marcin Gortat -- Joel Przybilla (still playing?)
- Key subs: Suns (Sebastian Telfair, Robin Lopez, Michael Redd). Blazers (Jamal Crawford, Luke Babbitt, Nolan Smith)
The Suns game tips off at 7:00 p.m. Arizona time and will be televised on Fox Sports Arizona. You can catch the radio broadcast on Arizona Sports 620. Bright Side of the Sun will have the live game thread.
For all news and information regarding the Phoenix Suns, please visit Bright Side of the Sun.