The Phoenix Suns (5-7) hosting the New Orleans Hornets (3-7) has lost some of it's luster as a point guard battle with both of the main eventers heading over to Los Angeles in the off-season. Both of them. Now the door is open for the young guys to step out of their shadows, spreading their wings as basketball players.
That will be an interesting match-up with Greivis Vasquez and Goran Dragic running the show respectively now. Vasquez, as Head Coach Alvin Gentry described is a, "a herky jerky" type player and is having a good start to the season. He will have Roger Mason Jr. to lean on now in the starting line-up as he replaces rookie Austin Rivers as has struggled early on.
Dragic has played very well on both ends of the floor, which is something that Vasquez does as well.
This new point guard duel will not have the same panache as the Nash-Paul showdowns. For the most part this will be a controlled, defensive game where the bench and the three-point line will be the determining factor in who inches closer to .500 on the season.
Part of that will be playing with two different styles depending on which unit is in the game at the time. Will they run two different styles depending on the unit on the floor?
"It could be, it definitely could be," said Coach Gentry before the game. "One of the things we try to do is be consistent in everything we do, but I also think as a coach you have to be able to make adjustments. That is what I try to tell the guys all the time, you have to be able to adjust."
Time will tell if the adjustments are for the better or just short-term band-aids on a much larger issue.
PG - Goran Dragic v. Greivis Vasquez
SG - Shannon Brown v. Roger Mason Jr.
SF - Michael Beasley v. Al-Farouq Aminu
PF - Markieff Morris v. Ryan Anderson
C - Marcin Gortat v. Robin Lopez
Suns Inactives: N/A
Hornets Inactives: Anthony Davis (foot)
Monty Williams on Robin Lopez this year:
"He has done a great job trying to anchor our defense. I had no idea he worked that hard and he is growing every day. He is a sponge man, he is playing well. This is a big game for him and we are going to try to win it for him."
More Monty on playing the Suns:
"I always feel like playing against Coach Gentry you get a team that executes well. He still has a mix of D'Antoni's offense, which is something that Coach Gentry worked under for a few years. They attack you in transition. They run zone a little bit. They have guys who can shoot the ball with Morris and (Marcin) Gortat backing to the basket that is as dynamic as you can get. They are doing a good job."
Interesting Stat: December 25th, 2008
That was not only Christmas Day in the valley, but also the day Roger Mason Jr, then with the San Antonio Spurs, knocked down a game winning three against the Suns as time expired. Of course, it was with the Spurs. GUARD THE CORNER GUYS!