The Phoenix Suns offense has gone bad. The defense is only slightly improved. Rebounding is still a disaster and rotations are a daily mystery. But all of that can be solved with one nice win over the Cleveland Cavaliers who come to Phoenix with the worst record in the league.
Obviously, that's not true. As we saw in Sacramento one week ago, the Suns are perfectly capable of losing to the worst team in the league and as we saw with an impressive win over Detroit on New Year's Eve, one win over another bad team isn't going to solve anything.
The only thing tonight's game will tell us is if this team might have reached rock bottom with Friday's embarrassing 25-point loss to Amare Stoudemire and the New York Knicks or if there's even further to fall for the team that was two-games from the NBA Finals just six months ago.
The Cavs know a thing or two about falling from NBA's graces as well. When LeBron James took his talents to warmer weather and into Dwyane Wade's arms, the Cavs went from a 61-win team to the bottom of the barrel. Their season was always going to be an uphill battle without James. But since LeBron and the Miami Heat stomped the pride out of his former team on December 2, the Cavs have only one game in their last 19 tries. Ironically, their single victory came over the New York Knicks on December 18.
Will Amare's return and embarrassing defeat of his former team have a similar life-sucking effect on the Suns?
Cleveland comes into Sunday's game with an injury excuse the Suns don't have. They will be without Daniel Gibson (ankle), Joey Graham (quad strain), Leon Poew (knee surgery) and Anderson Varejao (ankle). Anthony Parker is questionable with a back strain.
The only Suns injury is to rookie Gani Lawal who recently tore his ACL and MCL in practice last week and will be out for the season. Lawal had played two minutes for the Suns this season.
For the time being, the Suns are still clinging to hope and the memory of being a good team.
"What are supposed to do? We can't quit," Channing Frye said after Friday's loss to the Knicks.
Unfortunately, Channing is wrong. The team can quit as other teams have done and as this team has done during the course of games. A loss to the injury-depleted Cavaliers tonight would certainly look like a team that's given up.
The game tips off at 6 p.m. local time and will be broadcast on UPN My45 TV and 620 am radio. Fans can commiserate at the live game thread at Bright Side of the Sun.