Preview: Kings at Suns

THE OPPONENT

The Suns are 14-5. The only good thing about that, for Kings fans, is that the Suns were at one point 14-3, which means the Suns have lost two straight. One loss came at the hands of ... New York (guh), an embarrassing blow-out defeat in which Danilo Gallinari lashed out at the creation of MTV's new hit Jersey Shore. The other loss came at Cleveland, which is a bit more understandable. Actually, it's completely understandable. Cleveland is pretty incredible.

Steve Nash refuses to obey human physiology, and Alvin Gentry's gambit (that getting back up to speed would improve the offense more than starting Channing Frye would hurt the defense) has worked. (That will now be dubbed the Gentry Gambit, by the way. It differs from the Bonner Gambit in that the latter states that if you have a good enough defense from positions 1-4, you can play a tall shooting guard at center.)


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Amare Stoudemire 19 33.8 7.2 12.5 57.1 0.0 0.1 0.0 4.8 6.4 75.4 2.1 5.0 7.1 1.1 2.9 0.6 1.2 3.5 19.2
Jason Richardson 17 31.4 6.2 12.4 50.5 2.5 5.6 44.2 1.8 2.5 72.1 0.9 4.1 5.0 1.7 0.9 0.8 0.4 2.1 16.8
Steve Nash 19 32.3 6.1 11.7 52.3 1.6 3.6 44.1 2.7 2.8 94.4 0.5 2.3 2.8 11.5 3.8 0.4 0.2 1.2 16.5
Channing Frye 19 30.1 4.6 9.9 46.8 2.7 5.7 46.8 0.9 1.2 78.3 0.8 4.9 5.8 1.4 0.8 0.8 0.8 3.4 12.9
Grant Hill 19 30.2 4.6 9.6 47.5 0.4 1.0 42.1 2.4 3.0 78.9 1.4 5.3 6.7 2.1 1.3 0.6 0.3 1.6 11.9
Leandro Barbosa 14 21.4 4.6 9.4 48.5 1.2 3.0 40.5 1.2 1.7 70.8 0.3 1.6 1.9 2.0 1.1 0.6 0.1 2.0 11.6
Jared Dudley 19 22.1 2.8 6.3 44.5 1.5 3.3 46.0 1.5 2.2 70.7 1.5 2.3 3.8 1.2 0.8 1.0 0.2 1.9 8.6
Goran Dragic 19 15.9 2.5 5.6 43.9 0.7 2.1 35.9 1.1 1.9 56.8 0.6 1.7 2.3 2.9 1.6 0.5 0.2 1.7 6.8
Louis Amundson 18 15.2 1.9 3.6 53.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.9 1.6 58.6 1.8 2.7 4.4 0.4 0.9 0.1 0.9 1.9 4.8
Alando Tucker 7 6.1 1.3 3.0 42.9 0.1 0.6 25.0 1.9 2.4 76.5 0.6 0.3 0.9 0.4 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.1 4.6
Robin Lopez 4 9.8 1.8 2.8 63.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.8 1.0 75.0 1.5 1.8 3.3 0.0 2.0 0.3 0.8 2.0 4.3
Earl Clark 15 10.3 1.7 3.7 45.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.5 50.0 0.6 1.1 1.7 0.5 0.7 0.3 0.4 0.5 3.6
Taylor Griffin 1 8.0 1.0 2.0 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 2.0
Jarron Collins 11 7.3 0.5 0.7 62.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.8 22.2 0.5 1.5 2.0 0.1 0.3 0.0 0.3 1.2 1.1


 

The Suns are a bad rebounding team (13th on offense, 30th on defense) so feast away, Mssrs. Jason Thompson and Jon Brockman! The real battles are at ... well, hold on.

THE KEY BATTLE

I think that, assuming at some point Paul Westphal wants to bring Beno Udrih back into the starting unit as he did to open the second half of the Pacers game, this is not the right game to do it. We know factually that Beno can't guard Nash. We assume Tyreke Evans will also have problems, but the chance Evans can slow Nash a bit (plus make him work hard on the other end) plus the idea that Donte Greene will cause more problems on defense for Jason Richardson than Evans would, and ... I think you go Evans/Greene again. The issue would be whether Westphal wants to keep up with Phoenix (score every time they do) or to slow them down enough to keep pace (spend energy defending, hope you make enough shots). Ideally, both. But this is a real world, you know? As such,

Guards vs. Guards.

INTERESTING SIDESHOW

I have no idea whether any current Phoenix residents actually lived there during Westphal's tenure. But if so, this is like ... Dick Motta returning, right? How would I react if Dick Motta got hired by the Grizzlies and came to ARCO? Hmm. I hope I don't spend the first quarter ignoring the game while pondering this.

BOLD PROCLAMATION

Florida's white helmet-white uni motif is worse than the Kings' short-lived gold lamé kits.

NUMERIC PREDICTION

Suns by 5.

DETAILS

This will be a 6PM Pacific tip. Game thread at 6, post-game thread at 8:45. Recap under the sea.

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