The Phoenix Suns (11-14) are on a three-game winning streak with a chance to extend that to four (FOUR) games on Thursday night when the Houston Rockets (15-11) come to the U.S. Airways Center. The Rockets, you might recall, put a hurting on the Suns just six days ago in what had to be one of the worst performances of the season for Alvin Gentry's team.
"I don't think we played well at all," Gentry said about the road loss to the Rockets last week. "I thought dribble penetration hurt us. I thought our energy level wasn't what where it was in the last two games. We gave up too many easy baskets, had turnovers for baskets, so I think it needs to be a total transformation (from that last game)."
The Suns will have a couple of things working in their favor. The Rockets played a game last night in Portland and could be without starting point guard Kyle Lowry. Lowry left the game with a hyper-extended elbow, and according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, will be a game time decision.
If Lowry can't go, former Suns guard Goran Dragic will get the start against this old friend and mentor, Steve Nash.
"If Goran happens to start, he poses very many problems for us as well, we'll have to be ready for him and hopefully we can do a good job limited his opportunities," Nash said. "It would be great to go up against him, but he's a handful so I'll have my work cut out for me."
Helping the Suns even more, maybe, is Kevin Martin's little slump. Martin is averaging 18.7 ppg but only 2, 8 and 4 over his last three games.
- Point guard: Steve Nash --- Kyle Lowry / Goran Dragic
- Shooting guard: Jared Dudley -- Kevin Martin
- Small forward: Grant Hill -- Chandler Parsons
- Power forward: Channing Frye -- Luis Scola
- Center: Marcin Gortat -- Samuel Dalembert
- Key subs: Suns (Markieff Morris, Michael Redd, Ronnie Price, Shannon Brown, Hakim Warrick). Rockets (Courtney Lee, Chase Budinger, Patrick Patterson, Jordan Hill, Jonny Flynn)
TV broadcast info:
The Suns game tips off at 7:00 p.m. Arizona time on Fox Sports Arizona. Arizona Sports 620 radio.Bright Side of the Sun will have the live game thread.
Phoenix Suns vs. Houston Rockets Game Preview: A Measuring Stick - Bright Side Of The Sun
As I mentioned in a weekly recap last month, it's tough to find any of the top 8 teams in the West who look like they won't be playoff teams. Thunder, Clippers, Spurs, Lakers, Mavs, Nuggets are a given. Blazers, Rockets and Jazz can be seen as vulnerable and passable in the standings but the Suns need to start making that push right now by beating the Rockets tonight.