The Clips (9-18) head to US Airways Center to play the Suns (20-9) in the second game of a back-to-back home-and-home. Phoenix will go with the same starting five that destroyed the Clips last night: Nash, Bell, Hill, Marion, and Stoudemire. MDSr's starting five last night were Knight, Mobley, Maggette, Thorton, and Kaman. I wouldn't be surprised to see either Cassell or Ross (or both) inserted into the starting lineup tonight. After all, they were both starters in the 2nd round playoff match from two years ago that saw us push the Suns to seven games.
The less said, the better. It looked like a scrimmage for the Suns - layup drills and wide-open jumpshots. Kaman had by far his worst game of the season, managing only 9 points (on 4-17 FG and 1-4 FT), 9 rebounds, and 5 TOs. Sadly, the final score of 108-88 isn't even indicative of how hopeless the game was. The Suns were threatening to win by 40-50 points until they subbed in the likes of Sean Marks and Pike, the "Victory Cigar".
- Aerial bacon. If the Clips win tonight, go take a look outside. Pigs will be flying.
- Timmy! Will Thomas be back? After all, it was his playoff performance for the Suns from two seasons ago that fooled a lot of people into thinking he actually tries on a basketball court. With Powell being our only backup big, we actually need Mr. Cruise Control. It's very unlikely that Thomas will be available, though.
- Help, STAT! Amare owned us last night. Where's the double-team? Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather give up 3PAs to Marion, Bell, and Barbosa (and any jumper to Diaw) than let Stoudemire get a layup or dunk.
- Q, Where art thou? Ross played well in his 16 minutes last night. He defends Nash well simply by keeping his hands up ALL THE TIME and obstructing vision and disrupting passing lanes. And let's not forget his offensive "explosion" whenever Nash is forced to guard him. Personally, I'd start Cassell and Ross and bring Maggette off the bench. Both Corey's scoring and rebounding will be far more effective with the second unit.
- Double-double trouble. Kaman's streak of double-doubles ended last night (and I'm glad MDSr didn't leave him in just to extend the streak). For the Clips to even stay close, Kaman needs to start another double-double streak tonight. More than that though, Kaman has to make better decisions against the double-team. And kill Mr. Flippy.
- Cassell: an audition? The Suns are one possible trade destination for Sam. They are a contender and Nash needs a legitimate backup (D'antoni despises Banks, and Barbosa's natural position is two-guard). And we all know how the Suns love to hand out draft picks like Halloween candy.
- MBFFFFFFFGC. Courtesy of http://www.eurobasket.com/GRE/GRE.asp - "Just because it was previously written that Sofocles Schortsianitis (206-C-85) has been released from Olympiakos and he is now a free agent, we come back to correct this news and correctly inform our readers. So, briefly, after so many months absence from the fields, Olimpiakos decided to send Big Sofo to Switzerland in order to follow an appropriate program for him to lose all the weight that prevent him from playing and be therefore better fit to play. However, the player denied following what his team arranged for him, providing some doubtable reasons, and the Reds decided to stop his contact for the time needed."