It seems like forever since the Mavs last faced the Suns. Their paths have been very different since the clubs last met on April 1st, and the Mavs have played 40 games since they last sparred with their familiar foes from Phoenix. Many have picked the Suns as potential NBA champion, just like last season and so far, it's looked like business as usual for the Suns. The Mavs will look to buck the trend and get their first win in three tries against Phoenix.
Still all offense
The Suns aren't going to surprise you with intricate X-and-O play calling, and that's just the way they like it. Once again, they are the top scoring team in the league and average 109.16 points per game―just ahead of Golden State. Just as their offense has remained dominant, their defense remains just as porous. They are 26th in scoring defense and are allowing an average of two more points per game than they were last year at 104.16 per game.
Not quite over the hill
Many thought Grant Hill didn't have a lot left in the tank when Phoenix signed him to a one-year contract with a second-year player option this summer. It was a low-risk move with a potential high reward, and Hill has been proved the Suns smart so far. One of the biggest knocks on the Suns in the last few years was their lack of depth, and Hill provides that extra piece in the starting lineup that allows Leandro Barbosa and Boris Diaw to lead the second unit. After those seven guys, the playing time drops off dramatically with Brian Skinner and Marcus Banks riding in on the caboose occasionally. When the Suns paid to have Kurt Thomas leave, it left a good chunk of playing time on the table, and Hill has been just what they were looking for. If he can stay healthy (and that's a mighty big 'if'), they'll be just fine. If not...well, just imagine what Skinner and Banks would be like with extended playing time. Not pretty.
Diaw has been a letdown
Boris Diaw has been a solid contributor for the Suns since joining the team in 2005 and winning the Most Improved Player award that season. He had another solid season as the Sun's glue guy last season and performed whatever task needed to be done. He averaged 9.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists while shooting a very efficient 53.8 percent from the floor. This season? He's shooting his worst percentage since joining Phoenix at 45.7 percent and is only averaging 7.1 points and 3.6 assists and playing less. Grant Hill has surely had an effect on that, but it's disappointing for the Suns that he isn't flourishing in the reduced role as they thought he might.
- Even Ben Rothliesberger can outshoot the Matrix.
- Boris Diaw pours a mean Mai Tai.
- If you watch much NBATV, you've seen this 100 times. But it's still awesome.
Random useless fact
Amare Stoudemire's nickname STAT stands for "Standing Tall and Talented."
-Scooter Hendon, Hoops Nerd