The Phoenix Suns, riding a modest three-game winning streak, will close out their homestand against the Charlotte Bobcats, who have lost 12 straight and are playing the back end of a back-to-back, having lost the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.
As a fan, you might think that the Suns can pencil this in as a win and make it four straight, since the Bobcats are clearly not a great team, they are playing their second game in two nights, are on a losing streak and have already lost to the Suns earlier this season (117-110 at US Airways Center on November 7).
However, Suns head coach Alvin Gentry won't have any of that, hoping that the team can avoid another slow start like it did on Monday against the Kings. "I don't know why we would be overconfident against anyone, to be honest with you," Gentry said the media before the game. "We haven't done anything to create a situation of being overconfident -- playing anyone, really."
What Gentry expects is something he wants to see from his squad. "I can tell you this team will play extremely, extremely hard," he said about the Bobcats. "And they'll be that way from the opening tip all the way to the last buzzer sounds."
He cited the game on Tuesday against the Lakers. They had a big lead, lost it and then fought back before losing in the final second with a chance to win the game.
The last time these two team played, the Bobcats were without Gerald Henderson. Gentry said that he will make a "big difference," comparing him to the Suns' own P.J. Tucker.
"He's a good offensive player, he's one of their best post-up players," Gentry described. "He's just an all-around, hard-nosed, grind it out guy, so he makes a big difference when he's on the floor."
Here are the starting lineups for both teams:
PG Goran Dragic
SG Shannon Brown
SF Jared Dudley
PF Luis Scola
C Marcin Gortat
PG Kemba Walker
SG Gerald Henderson
SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
PF Byron Mullens
C Bismack Biyombo