Time: 8:00 PM Central Standard Time
Place: The US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona
TV: KSBI-TV, KUTP-TV My 45
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1)
Backstory: Well, what is there to say about Phoenix? They were the NBA's November darlings, the team that everyone thought had finally gotten back on it's feet. Sadly, December has not been nearly as kind, as they have a record of 4-7 so far. The record is a bit strange, though. they have wins against solid teams like Orlando, San Antonio, and Sacramento, but at the same time, they have an embarassing loss to New York. I suppose it comes with being such an up and down team.
The Thunder will hope the Suns are on the down part of the rollercoaster tonight, as the Thunder are under .500 for the first time in a long time, are on the 2nd game of a back to back, and really need this win.
Center: Nenad Krstic vs. Channing Frye
This is actually a winnable matchup for Nenad Krstic. Channing Frye isn't that much of a down-low banging center, so I think Krstic can compete and mix it up a bit. Still, I think his stats will end up being a bit less impressive than Frye's.
Power Forward: Jeff Green vs. Amare Stoudamire
Jeff Green seemingly overcame his weakness against big men yesterday against the Lakers, but can he do it again tonight? I'd put the chances at doubtful. Expect a big game from Amare.
Small Forward: Kevin Durant vs. Grant Hill
Man oh man, would I love to see this matchup were Grant Hill in his prime. Sadly, now, he's just a shadow of his former self and Kevin Durant will outclass him everywhere but in the department of defense. Still, I doun't think Hill will be a huge problem for Durant.
Shooting Guard: Jason Richardson vs. Thabo Sefolosha
Most people see Jason Richardson as a dunker, but in reality, he relies on his jumpshot a great deal. I could see Sefolosha slowing him down significantly.
Point Guard: Russell Westbrook vs. Steve Nash
Steve Nash is obviously the better player here. Russell Westbrook better have a pen and paper handy, because he's about to witness greatness.
Battle of the Benches:
Leandro Barbosa is out, which is good news, leaving Goran Dragic, Louis Amundson, and Jared Dudley to man the bench for the Suns. They're probably better than we're all thinking right now, but I'd still have to give the bench advantage to the Thunder.
Coaching and Intangibles:
The Thunder had to play extremely late last night, and they lost an hour by moving into the Mountain Time Zone. It would really suck to be them right now. Still, the suns have been on a bad streak lately, so I'll give the advantage to the Thunder.
I think a lot depends on Jeff Green and taking advantage of when the Suns' bench is on the floor. It's really not that Hurculean of a task, and I think this is a very winnable game.
Prediction: Thunder 111, Suns 103
How do you think the game will go? Vote in the Poll!
And, again, feel free to drop any comments you might have during, before, or after the game below. I might be here during the game to drop my thoughts as well. Go Thunder!