The Phoenix Suns could be eliminated, formally, from playoff contention with tonight's game. If the Suns lose and the Grizzlies beat the Hornets it's over. If not, it will be over soon enough. The only reason the actual date of the playoff elimination matters is so that coach Alvin Gentry can officially begin playing for next season. He said again today at shootaround that he won't change his rotations until that happens.
Tonight's opponent, the Los Angeles Clippers (29-46), in any other year would be an easy win. But the Suns come into this game playing horrible basketball and have lost four-straight while the Clippers are 2-2. The teams have played three times this season with the Suns taking two.
The obvious attraction tonight is Blake Griffin. Suns defensive ace, Grant Hill, says the key to Griffin is limiting his highlight dunks that gets his team pumped up. Expect Channing Frye to start with the unenviable task of slowing Blake down.
A virus is making its way around the NBA as it sometimes does between these guys who share so much body contact. Steve Nash, Marcin Gortat, and Clippers' center Chris Kaman all missed shootaround with "flu-like symptoms". Nash and Gortat are expected to play while Suns' forward Mickael Pietrus won't due to a quad strain that's kept him out of the last five games. He's officially listed as day-to-day.
The game tips at 7:00 p.m. local time on Fox Sports AZ and will be broadcast on Sports 620 radio. Fans can follow along during the game with other Suns fans at the live game thread at Bright Side of the Sun.