Game 1: Hornets @ Suns

2011-12 NBA Regular Season

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0-0 vs
0-0
December 26th, 2011
US Airways Center
8:00 PM CST
TV: CST, NBALP
Probable starters:
Greivis Vasquez < Steve Nash
Eric Gordon
> Jared Dudley
Trevor Ariza = Grant Hill
Carl Landry
= Channing Frye
Emeka Okafor = Marcin Gortat

Your Pregame Moment of Zen

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The Suns Outlook

This season should be the end of an era for the Phoenix Suns; with almost $30M coming off the books in the Summer of 2012, the Suns are likely to watch Steve Nash and Grant Hill leave, barring a late change of course to a more Dumarsian team building strategy. New York would seem to be a perfect destination for the Suns' point guard though Nash, unlike certain other All-Star point guards, has refrained from making trade demands privately (and denying them publicly).

Last year, Phoenix struggled tremendously on the defensive end. The team ranked among the worst defensive rebounding units in the league and failed to prevent opponents shooting high percentages from the floor. Their historic offenses of the late 2000s also gave way to a less efficient incarnation in 2011.

Phoenix will need to rebuild before putting its next title contender on the floor, but when exactly that process will start is anyone's guess. For this season, the Suns could maybe challenge for an 8th seed but will likely be a one and done team if they do indeed make the postseason.

The Opposition

Check out Bright Side of the Sun for Phoenix Suns' coverage.

Subplots

  • For many years, the Chris Paul-Steve Nash pairing made this one of the more intriguing matchups in the league. Tonight, Steve Nash squares off against, presumably, Greivis Vasquez. This could well be intriguing in its own right, but in more unpleasant fashion.
  • The Hornets get tomorrow off as a travel day to return to New Orleans before taking on the Boston Celtics for their home opener.
  • How the front court rotation shakes out will be interesting to watch. Kaman figures to get big minutes and offensive possessions behind Emeka Okafor, but will Gus Ayon get minutes at center? How about Lance Thomas at power?
  • The Saints play Toney Douglas' brother, Harry Douglas, at the same time.
  • The Minnesota Timberwolves open their season against the Oklahoma City Thunder (who beat Dwight Howard's (and Glen Davis'!) Orlando Magic yesterday) at 7:00 CST.
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