Suns fans, at least those with tickets, will finally get to see their team play on their home court. Four games into the preseason the boys will lace 'em up tonight against the Utah Jazz at US Airways Center.
This will be the fourth preseson game for the Suns (1-2) and the half-way point of the eight-game exhibition schedule. The Suns are still working on building cohesion with the starting and second units but Coach Gentry says that he will continue to experiment with different lineups tonight.
"We'll still look at a few situations and see if they're going to be available for us and how a particular group plays together but I think all in all we'll see very similar to the rotations we saw (Saturday against the Mavericks)," he said.
Gentry says we can expect the Suns starters to play in the low- to mid-20 minute range. The Suns face the Jazz again on Wednesday in Utah and then on October 28 in the second game of the regular season. Three times in two weeks is a lot of Jazz for Gentry.
"They beat you up pretty good so there's no reason to get all beaten up in the preseason. I'll limit Steve (Nash) and some of the other guys' minutes some what and be able to take a look at some of these other guys in those situations," Gentry said after this morning's shoot around.
The Jazz played last night in Portland where they beat the Trail Blazers 109-100.
Interestingly enough, that game featured undrafted rookie Ryan Thompson (brother of Kings forward Jason Thompson) starting at the two-guard in front of ex-Sun Raja Bell. Bell is averaging 18.5 minutes with 5 points, 1.5 rebounds and is shooting 25 percent from three.
A bright spot for the Jazz is third-year big man, Kyrlo Fresenko. Fresenko wasn't exactly impressive when we saw him last season but he did resign with the Jazz this offseason and is averaging 11.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1 block in 22 minutes per game in the preseason. It could be a good matchup for Robin Lopez.
The Jazz also feature rookie forward Gordon Hayward off the bench. Haywood famously helped lead his small Butler College team deep into the NCAA tournament last March. He was drafted in the ninth spot by the Jazz this summer and is averaging 7.5 points and 3 rebounds per game in a Jazz uniform.