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Resurgent Suns Come to Town

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Since the Sixers thrashed the Suns 123-110 in Phoenix, Steve Nash has led them to a 7-5 record. The overall record is probably more impressive if you don't look at who the Suns played over that stretch, but still, they've been playing better basketball. Phoenix is coming off a one-point loss in Detroit, a game in which they scored only 74 points.

Game capsule from their first meeting.

An interesting note, if you take a look at the rotation chart from the first time these teams met, Lou Williams was nowhere near the floor during crunch time. Jrue and Turner were at the one and two, and the Sixers pushed their lead from 9 to 14 over a 7:00 stretch to put the game out of reach. Of course, this was Turner's best game as a pro, so Doug Collins wasn't technically choosing defense over offense, he was getting both.

Anyway, over the past three games, Marcin Gortat is finally getting starter's minutes and putting up big numbers. 13.3 points (62.5% from the floor), 13 boards, 1 steal and 1.3 blocks/game in about 30 minutes. Gortat has the potential to be a disruptive force on the glass against the Sixers. Keep an eye on his production tonight.

Hakim Warrick always kills the Sixers. Channing Frye is a matchup problem, but only if he's hitting his threes (he was 2/12 from deep against the Pistons). Grant Hill is still effective on the wing, Vince Carter not so much.

There appears to be some concern coming from Doug Collins about Jrue's workload, well, he's not going to get much rest tonight chasing Steve Nash all over the floor. Jrue's offense took a hit against Deron Williams, but he was a beast on the defensive end. Tonight, I'd like to see a more complete game from Jrue (who has been slumping since Iguodala's return). Nash has no prayer of keeping Jrue out of the lane. He needs to attack relentlessly. Make Nash play both ends of the floor, and make the rest of the defense overcompensate when Jrue gets by him. This should open up the entire offense for the Sixers.

Prediction: PHI 110, PHO 103

The tip is at 7pm, game thread 90 minutes prior.
by Brian on Jan 24 2011
Tags: Basketball | Phoenix Suns | Previews | Sixers |