Tag Archives: Phoenix Suns

San Antonio Spurs

Lakers & Clippers Top Spurs Tickets In January

The Spurs welcome the New Year at home, playing in the AT&T Center on 31st December. Their next 3 games are also at home. The schedule for January is also rather favorable, with more games at home than on the road. Additionally, the Spurs have only 3 tough matchups in January, against the Bulls, Clippers and Blazers. They will play only 14 games in January, with only one back to back. In other words, January is the perfect month for Coach Pop to give some rest to his core players. Here is a look at Spurs Ticket prices for their games at the AT&T Center on the January Schedule.

Spurs vs Wizards, January 3, Average price $52

After two full days of rest, the Spurs welcome John Wall and the Wizards. Wall believes he and his buddy are the best back court duo in the league, but the “old school” guys from the Spurs execute the offense to perfection. It is good to get some lessons from time to time, and Wall might just be in for a treat. Spurs vs Wizards Tickets Starting price $27.00.

Spurs vs Pistons, January 6, Average price $29

As mentioned, the schedule is kind to the Spurs in January. They get two days rest again, and play the lowly Pistons. However, the Pistons can surprise from time to time, but they are still a lottery team. Their biggest weapon is the front court, where Andre Drummond is shaping into a real star. Add Monroe and Josh Smith, and Duncan might have to push a bit more and waste more energy this game.Spurs vs Pistons Tickets Starting price $7.00.

Spurs vs Suns, January 9, Average price $78

Phoenix is one of the few teams that have beaten the Spurs this season, and they always pose a challenge with their speed and tempo. Their three guard lineup can be problem for the Spurs defensively, but they can also exploit those matchups on offense, where Kawhi Leonard would be guarded by a point guard.Spurs vs Suns Tickets Starting price $16.00.

Spurs vs Blazers, January 16, Average price $62

The Spurs demolished the Blazers in the 2014 playoffs, and the Blazers run over the Spurs in their first duel this season. But now the Spurs are playing at home, and have one of the western conference rivals in the house. The game should be interesting, no question about it, but whether it will be a high scoring or a low scoring game, it depends on the Spurs.Spurs vs Trail Blazers Tickets Starting price $19.00.

Spurs vs Jazz, January 18, Average price $39

The Spurs tend to surprise everyone from time to time. Their loss this season to the Jazz can be attributed to those surprises. But while they can make a mistake once, they do not let the mistakes haunt them. The Jazz are a lottery team, and the Spurs would be wise to show their place.Spurs vs Trail Blazers Tickets Starting price $10.00.

Spurs vs Lakers, January 23, Average price $90

We won’t get many more Bryant vs Duncan duels. Therefore, it would be nice to cherish the duels of these two great players that marked the last two decades. The teams split the first two games this season, and this one is the deciding one. Not that it matters for tie breakers, since the Lakers are bound to miss the playoffs, but the Spurs need wins versus weak opponents to keep their high ranking and have home court advantage in the playoffs.Spurs vs Lakers Tickets Starting price $37.00.

Spurs vs Bucks, January 25, Average price $27

Too bad rookie Jabari Parker hurt his knee, and will miss the rest of the season. He could have picked some valuable lessons from Tim Duncan, and it is unknown whether he will get the same chance next year. The Bucks have some quality players, such as the Greek Freak and Brandon Knight to cause some damage, but without their rookie, they will be weaker.Spurs vs Bucks Tickets Starting price $8.00.

Spurs vs Hornets, Average price $49

The Hornets might be just what the Spurs need before they close out January with a duel with the Clippers. Big Al is the only problem for the Spurs, but they have quality defenders in the post that can contain Jefferson. Whether Lance Stephenson will be wearing a Hornets uniform by the time the matchup occurs, it is unknown. The Hornets are reportedly looking to trade him.Spurs vs Hornets Tickets Starting price $16.00.

Spurs vs Clippers, January 31, Average price $80

The first duel between the two was a low scoring game, with the Spurs managing to prevail 88-85. But both teams have since improved their play, and by the time the game is played, the teams might be in the top 4 in the West. The Spurs are ranked lower than the Clippers, but they are catching steam lately. The Clippers are also playing some inspiring basketball in December, but there is time till January.Spurs vs Clippers Tickets Starting price $35.00.

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BY: Chris M.

Ticket prices based on secondary market averages including nbaexchange and are subject to change.

Lakers Game at LA Staples Center

Lakers December To Remember

The Lakers ended their 4-10 November record on a high note with a 129-122 victory over the Toronto Raptors, Kobe Bryant getting his 6,000 assist as well as a triple double becoming the first NBA player in history to score 30,000 points and 6,000 assists. The December Lakers Schedule will feature two of the best teams in the West as the Thunder and Warriors will be coming to the Staples Center.

Lakers vs Pelicans December 7, Average ticket price – $54
The Pelicans who are 7-8 won the first time the teams meet, but that was in New Orleans. Anthony Davis is playing on an MVP level this year, leading the league at PER (34 at the moment), and this is his first visit to the Staples Center this year. Davis and the Pelicans will come for a visit again in April. The December game is his chance to shine on one of the brightest stages in the NBA. Lakers vs Pelicans tickets start at $25.00 per ticket.

Lakers vs Kings, December 9, Average price – $80
More than half of the experts in the league expected the Kings to be a lottery bound team. However, a month into the season, and the Kings are just half a game out of the playoff picture, with a realistic shot to make the playoffs this season. Demarcus Cousins is the second best big man in the league at the moment, trailing only Anthony Davis. Fans at the Staples have a chance to see two of the best big man in the league in a span of just few days. Lakers vs Kings Tickets start at $26.00 per ticket.

Lakers vs Thunder, December 19, Average Price $127
By the time the Thunder came into town, Kevin Durant might be healthy. Even if he is not ready to go, hometown Russell Westbrook is healthy, and in his first game back from injury, Westbrook exploded versus the Knicks. The Thunder are one of the most exciting teams to watch, and they have a little history with the Lakers. Someone is going to have a big night, be it Westbrook, Durant or Kobe. Lakers vs Thunder tickets start at $62.00 per ticket.

Lakers vs Warriors, December 23, Average Price $140
Steph Curry schooled Bryant during a preseason game, and he got tap on the shoulder from the Black Mamba. This game has the potential to be a high scoring game, or a shooting matchup. With the Splash Brothers on one side, and Kobe competitiveness on the other, fans are the real winners. Kobe doesn’t forget easily, and he might go directly at the Splash Brothers and challenge them as much as possible. Lakers vs Warriors tickets start at $58.00 per ticket.

Lakers vs Suns, December 28, Average Price $90
Another show time team comes into town just before the New Year’s Eve. Phoenix is currently ranked 8th in the West, a spot Lakers hoped to occupy at the start of the season. With a three guard lineup, the Suns are fun and exciting, and they play at a fast pace. Thanks to Gerald Green, every game provides at least 2 highlights. Not that the Lakers play slow, they also like to push the pace. And as much as Gerald Green can do, Wesley Johnson can also provide few highlights here and there. Lakers vs Suns tickets start at $47.00 per ticket.

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You can checkout the top games and ticket prices for the Lakers January schedule.

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2014 NBA Summer League Preview

Las Vegas NBA Summer League

VEGAS BABY VEGAS

The NBA Las Vegas Summer League, sponsored by Samsung, will kick off on July 11 with 67 games to be played over the 11 day event. All 67 games will be televised live by the NBA Network. The Los Angeles Lakers will participate in the event with their lineup likely featuring whoever they select with the 7th pick in the upcoming NBA draft. Aaron Gordon of Arizona, Indiana’s Noah Vonleh, Kentucky’s Julius Randle and Dante Exum of Australia are potential Lakers targets in the upcoming draft, one of the deepest drafts in years. Other Lakers expected to take part in the summer league are center Robert Sacre, forward Ryan Kelly and guard Kendall Marshall. The Lakers will kick off summer league play with a matchup versus the Toronto Raptors on July 11th, followed by games with the New Orleans Pelicans and Golden State Warriors.

Lakers Tickets for all games

LAKERS

Last season the Raptors featured Jonas Valanciunas, the 2013 Las Vegas Summer League MVP. The Raptors big man’s performance in the summer league was a springboard to a successful 2013-2014 season that included a playoff appearance for the Raptors. The Lakers summer league roster will be announced closer to the event, as will the head coach of the Lakers team. Last season Lakers assistant coach Dan D’Antoni coached the team, but is no longer with the organization after taking the head coaching job with Marshall University. The Lakers have yet to announce a replacement for Mike D’Antoni, the younger brother of Dan, who was let go after the Lakers difficult 2013-2014 season. Several names have been rumored in the Lakers coaching decision, but the franchise has purportedly delayed making a decision until the end of the NBA season when they’ll have a better understanding of the future of Miami Heat star Lebron James. With available cap space the Lakers have the ability to sign James, although most experts feel James heading to the Lakers is extremely unlikely.

Last season the Lakers finished 3-2 in the summer league with Marcus Landry leading the team in scoring. They’ll have a vastly different roster this summer with Robert Sacre likely the only returning player. Following the opening three games the Lakers will then take part in a tournament to determine the winner. Last season the Golden State Warriors defeated the Phoenix Suns in the title game, 91-77 behind 33 points off the bench from Ian Clark who ended up on the Utah Jazz roster this past season. Tickets for the NBA Summer League are on sales now so if your looking for a great getaway with some sun, fun and to get your basketball fix then shoot out to Las Vegas to catch some up close basketball at great prices. Usually you can walk up and just get tickets at the door. Chris M.

Where will Kevin Love end up?

Kevin Love

LOVE

The Kevin Love saga is continuing to unfold and in fact, it’s gradually reaching its peak, as we get closer to the free agency period. Up to now, there is no clear indication about which uniform the 25 – year old megastar will wear next season. The only thing we can be almost certain about is that he will not be a part of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Amongst all the teams which have entered the race for Love, the Golden State Warriors seem to have the capability of forming the best offer but also to offer a winning environment to Love. So are they the ultimate front runners? And can they acquire Love much sooner than the beginning of the 2014 – 2015 season?

There are two variables in this equation. One of them is Love’s choice. It will be very essential for the team which will trade for Love to secure a long – term deal with him. In other words, don’t expect any team interesting in landing him to trade away some valuable assets without the assurance that a long – term contract will be signed. So, unless Love wants to play for that particular team, it will be difficult for it to acquire him.

NBA Kevin Love

LOVE

The other variable in this equation is the exchange the Minnesota Timberwolves are looking to get out of this deal. The Wolves want to sell high at this point and they don’t actually care that much if Love will head to a destination where he will be happy or if he will win rings. All they want is to get the maximum out of this deal, whether this means acquiring one or more capable players, receiving draft picks or a combination of the two.

Whilst Love expressed his desire to play in New York and although he has also been flirting with the Los Angeles Lakers since the beginning of the 2013 – 2014 season, those legendary teams don’t have the assets needed offer to the Wolves as an exchange for Love. The Boston Celtics are not in a much better position either. In fact, it’s the Phoenix Suns, the Golden State Warriors and maybe the Houston Rockets which currently have the most to offer.

Kevin Love

LOVE

Phoenix has six first round picks over the next two drafts and Houston could ship significant value to Minnesota while forming its Big Three with Harden, Howard and Love. Nonetheless, the Golden State Warriors seem to be capable to place the best offer on the table. If they form a deal which will include David Lee, Harrison Barnes and a few other assets, leaving Klay Thompson out of the package, not only will the Wolves will find enough value but they will also form a powerhouse in the West. Just imagine how deadly a starting lineup which would include Love, Thompson, Curry and Iguodala would be. The Dubs will instantly become by far the best three – point shooting team in the NBA and on top of that, Love seems to be a perfect match with Andrew Bogut. With Steve Kerr in the house, Golden State is ready for the beginning of a brand new era.

Kevin Love to the Warriors makes much sense, for every side involved in such a trade.

Chris M.

Blazers First Round Match Up Possibilities

Portland Trail Blazers

Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers are indeed one of the strongest title contenders in the Western Conference this season. Whilst they entered the 2013-2014 campaign as underdogs, they have earned the contender characterization thanks to their incredible performances, especially during the first months of the season and also thanks to their consistency. The Blazers currently rank third in the conference, but it’s still unclear at which spot they’ll end up at the end of the regular season. Let’s examine who will the Blazers play in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

The truth is that the Blazers seem capable of beating almost any opponent, at least in the Western Conference. The Blazers won’t most probably meet the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first leg, so we’ll keep them off of our discussion.

Dallas Mavericks

Portland Trail Blazers

Blazers

If the regular season ended today, the Dallas Mavericks would be the first-round opponents of the Portland Trail Blazers. Rip City would be the obvious favorite in this matchup. Although the Mavs are over performing this season, they have neither the quality nor depth to match with the Blazers in a seven-game series. Damian Lillard would own the point guard spot, since Jose Calderon is unmistakable slower than the Blazers’ superstar. In the battle of the power forwards, between Dirk Nowitzki and LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland has the upper hand, too. Aldridge is recording arguably the best season of his career, while Dirk not at the best shape he’s been.

Golden State Warriors
The Dubs will be an opponent to avoid for the Blazers come playoff time. The Warriors are a very dangerous team and when the duo of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry find rhythm, it’s almost impossible to stop them. The Warriors are great against teams with thin defensive lines and Portland currently ranks 25th in the league in points allowed. The Warriors currently rank seventh in the Western Conference but they are a potential opponent for the Blazers.

Phoenix Suns

Damian Lillard Blazers

Damian Lillard

The Phoenix Suns are another strong potential opponent for the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers could find themselves playing against the Suns, who have been impressive up to now in the season. No one really saw them coming this season and yet they have managed to establish themselves as one of the most dangerous teams in the West. No team, even the highest-seeded one, will really want to meet the Suns in the first leg of the playoffs. The Suns currently rank eighth in the West, but they may be able to climb one or two seeds by the end of the regular season.

Houston Rockets
The battle for the spots three to five is very close in the West. The Houston Rockets have been trying to clinch one of the highest ones this season. At the end, though we might see the Rockets falling a bit behind and meeting the Blazers in the first leg of the playoffs. Whilst Dwight Howard and James Harden have already build chemistry, the Blazers have the potential to top them in a seven-game series. My favorite match up would be the Blazers Vs Rockets!Chris Michaels

Western Conference Contenders and Pretenders

Western Conference

Western Conference

Two weeks into the 2013-2014 NBA season the Western Conference is taking shape. The usual contenders, San Antonio and Oklahoma City are at the top, but with Denver and the Los Angeles Lakers struggling there’s an opportunity for some new contenders to make a playoff run. Here’s a look at the elite, contenders and pretenders of the early NBA season.

The West Elite: (San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors)

The veteran San Antonio Spurs picked up where they left off and are off to a fast start to begin the season. They’re well coached, experienced and deep and should contend for the top record in the NBA all season. If Tim Duncan and Tony Parker can stay healthy the Spurs are the favorites for a return trip to the finals. The Oklahoma City Thunder welcomed back Russell Westbrook early and their star point guard seems to be the same explosive player he was before his meniscus tear. The Thunder is 5-1 on the season with their lone loss versus the Minnesota Timberwolves. The presence of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook guarantees 55 to 60 wins—how that translates into the postseason is the big question. The Thunder still misses that extra scorer that James Harden once provided. The Los Angeles Clippers are still adjusting to the coaching style of Doc Rivers, but have a deep lineup and bench and an elite point guard in Chris Paul.

The Next in Line: (Minnesota, Memphis, Dallas, Houston)

The Minnesota Timberwolves are finally healthy and displaying the potential that many predicted when Ricky Rubio arrived in the United States. In Rubio, Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic the Wolves have one of the best trios in basketball and an elite Head Coach in Rick Adelman. The Wolves acquisition of Kevin Martin, who thrived under Adelman in Sacramento, has given the club the strong perimeter shooting two guard they missed. Look for the Wolves to challenge the 50 win mark and reach the playoffs for the first time under Love. Memphis switched Head Coaches, with Dave Joerger taking over for Lionel Hollins. They’ve struggled initially in the transition but still feature the same big and physical lineup that’s worked for them the past three seasons. Marc Gasol is one of the league’s best centers and he forms perhaps the best center/power forward combination in basketball with Zach Randolph. The Dallas Mavericks, who missed the playoffs last season, have rebuilt to make another run. The newly minted backcourt of Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon is working so far, giving Dirk Nowitzki the guard play he hasn’t had since the Mavs title run. The key for Dallas, like San Antonio, is the health of their veteran players. Over in Houston the Rockets have the potential to be in the elite group, but have struggled defensively so far this season. Dwight Howard is showing many of the same inconsistencies he displayed in Los Angeles last season and he’s not yet providing the interior defensive presence the Rockets desperately need. Houston can score points on anybody; the big question is whether or not they can defend like an NBA title contender. Right now the jury is still out.

On the Upswing: (Portland)

The Blazers are off to a fast start (5-2), although only one victory is over a legit playoff contender (San Antonio). That being said the Blazers look to be a club that can occupy the playoff position(s) that the Lakers and/or Denver may be vacating. LaMarcus Aldridge is one of the premier power forwards in the game, while Damian Lillard and Nicolas Batum are consistently improving their game. The Blazers have been efficient, reducing turnovers, and are second in the conference in field goal attempts per game. Their +4.0 scoring margin is good for 5th in the conference.

Bubble Teams: (Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans)

Putting the Lakers in the bubble team category may be a stretch. Their success hinges on how close to .500 they are when Kobe Bryant returns. Los Angeles has improved their overall depth and the youth of their roster, but still lacks the quality depth of most playoff contenders. It’s questionable whether or not Steve Nash has anything left in the tank as he battles persistent injuries. If Nash can’t provide the minutes the Lakers need they may plummet down the standings. The Pelicans are an interesting club. They’ve had some good victories this season as well as some bad performances. They’ve injected some talent into their roster but it’s still not clear how the backcourt trio of Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, Jrue Holliday will co-exist due to their high ball usage rate. Inside though the Pelicans have the emerging Anthony Davis who’s quickly becoming the superstar many predicted. Davis alone could be the difference maker that vaults the Pelicans into playoff contention.

The Pretenders: (Sacramento, Denver)

The Sacramento Kings have a talented roster that once again looks like a bunch of spare parts. DeMarcus Cousins is one of the most talented big men in the game, putting together a solid season. His checkered past though makes it hard to rely on him day in and day out. Ben McLemore has great potential but he’s young and finding his place in the NBA. The Kings have nice depth inside and some solid role players, but due to the consistent roster overhaul it’s been hard for them to find consistency. They’ll be a lottery team again. Denver, a Western Conference power last season is off to a slow start in the post-George Karl era. Losing several key roster components, like Andre Iguodola, Corey Brewer and Kosta Koufus has disrupted their rotation. They still have Ty Lawson to lead the team but the recent injury to Javale McGee is another blow to their depth. Denver has a significant home court advantage at Pepsi Center that could make them a fringe playoff contender, but it’s hard to see them making much of a run.
Andrew Wiggins Contenders: (Utah)

The Jazz are the NBA’s worst right now. With Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson playing for other teams the Jazz are relying on the young of Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter to provide the bulk of the scoring. The trio has potential but they’re young and overmatched against the rest of the Western Conference. Utah is solidly positioned to get a high lottery pick with the ability to add a significant piece next June.

By:Chris Michaels

The record-breaking winning run continues for the LA Clippers as they defeat the Phoenix Suns 103-77

Once again the Clips showed their teeth and won easily on the road by double digits to record their 13th straight win and the six consecutive on the road. They have already broken their all-time winning record with their last win against the Sacramento Kings. “We hear it all but we’re about just getting these wins and if they come within a streak or when we haven’t won somewhere, that’s fine.” said star forward Blake Griffin after the game. He led all scorers with 23 and some monster dunks during the game. He also grabbed 11 rebounds and made once again clear that he is capable to retain his all-star level gameplay and help his team reach its goals this season. He was successful on 7 of his 11 attempts from the field and also hit a 3-pointer in his 32-minute performance. For yet another time, Clippers Head coach did a great job distributing minutes effectively between the starters and the bench. “I thought our starters did a good job in the first quarter and then our second quarter, we jumped on them” , commented Clippers Coach Vinnie Del Negro.

Chris Paul also had a great game with 17 points and 13 assists. The usual suspects off the bench, Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes contributed as well as they normally do combining for 37 points. The team shot an overall 55.2% from three point range, 11-21 and also made 38 shots from the field in 71 attempts, 53.5%, while holding their opponents to just 36.3% and a disappointing 3-17 from beyond the arc. Although the Suns had a good start and were up 14-12, two made shots from downtown from Caron Butler boosted the score to 50-69 for the Clips but they didn’t stop there and continued to make it a 31 point game, 60-91 in the end of the third period.

It was a rather non-flattering performance for the Suns, who were left wide open on defense in many times and turned the ball over allowing their opponents to score easy baskets. Jared Dudley had a team-high 19 points and Luis Scola finished with 11, while the rest of the team ended up in single digits. The Suns tied their season low in points scored. Head Coach Alvin Gentry was ejected with 2:33 left in the first half, after receiving two consecutive technical fouls. Six technical fouls were issued to both teams during the first three quarters.

Phoenix played without their star forward Michael Beasly and knew even before the game that this one would be tough for them. The Clippers are still playing without Chauncey Billups and Grant Hill, who both are sidelined with injuries. During their winning streak, they have won by an average of 13 points, four of them are with a 20+ points difference.
The Clippers play in front of their home crowd at Christmas against the Nuggets and then face the Boston Celtics at the Staples Center on Thursday. Last two games of the year are against the Utah Jazz, first one away and the last one, Sunday December 30th at Staples Center. Phoenix plays home on Wednesday night against the Knicks.

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Suprise Steve Nash a Los Angeles Laker

Steve Nash Los Angeles Lakers

Steve Nash Los Angeles Lakers

Espn.com is reporting that the Lakers have a greed in terms to a 3 year sign and trade deal for PG STEVE NASH. Nash broke the Phoenix record for all time assists and is 5th in the all time NBA list.

The Suns will receive 2013 and 2015 first-round picks and 2013 and 2014 second-round picks from the Lakers, according to the Arizona Republic.

The deal can’t be officially completed until July 11, when a leaguewide moratorium on new business is lifted.

There are also rumors that Nash will try hard to convince Grant Hill to sign with the Lakers.

More to come on this!

Lakers looking to eclipse the Sun

Preview: L.A. Lakers At Phoenix Suns
When: 10:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 7, 2012
Where: US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona

Lakers Vs Suns Tickets sold out for tonights game.

THE STORY: After letting a winnable game slip away their last time out, the weary Los Angeles Lakers face the challenge of mustering enough energy as they prepare to play their sixth game in eight days. Both teams will be playing on the second night of back-to-backs when the Lakers travel to face the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night. The Pacific Division foes have split the first two of three meetings this season.

TV: 10 p.m. ET, KCAL-TV

ABOUT THE LAKERS (35-21): Andrew Bynum wasn’t around to see the conclusion of the Lakers’ 112-107 loss to Houston on Friday, as the All-Star center was ejected early in the fourth quarter for a second technical. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak. Bynum has been a dominating force of late and was coming off one of his better scoring performances of the campaign when he had 36 points against the Clippers while nursing a sprained ankle.

ABOUT THE SUNS (28-27): The Suns had surged in recent weeks, winning 11 of 17 games after a slow start before a late collapse on Friday. Phoenix surrendered the game’s final nine points in a 105-99 loss to Denver. “It was a bad loss for us,” point guard Steve Nash said. “We had a bad close to the game and didn’t make plays down the stretch.” Nash had 14 points and 11 assists and is averaging 11.2 assists per game, percentage points shy of his career high.

BUZZER BEATERS:

1. The Lakers are in search of their fourth consecutive road victory overall.

2. Michael Redd’s career resurgence is gaining steam. The Suns’ shooting guard is averaging 16.3 points his past three outings.

PREDICTION: Lakers 98, Suns 92.

Phoenix Suns vs. Golden State Warriors

Phoenix Suns vs. Golden State Warriors
NBA, Western Conference, Pacific Division
Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
Monday, February 13th, 2012. 10:30 PM EST

Analysis of the Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns, led by PG Steve Nash, were one of the elite teams in the NBA just a few years ago. Nash and PF Amare Stoudemire were a deadly combo, and the Suns were popular picks to win the West. Now Stoudemire is gone and the other key pieces (outside of Nash) have been traded away. The Suns are starting their rebuilding process, and a 12-15 record in 2012 shows this.

Analysis of the Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are where the Suns would like to be in 2-3 years. An incredibly young squad with some great pieces built around the draft (mainly), the Warriors have yet to turn their talent into results on the court (going 9-14 on the year so far) but certainly are capable of being on of the better teams in the West given a year or two of experience and one more elite player.

Key Players
Phoenix Suns: Marcin Gortat
The leading scorer, rebounder, and blocks man on the Suns, Gortat will get a favorable matchup against C Andris Biedrins of the Warriors. If Gortat can step up and get 20-15-5 of points, rebounds, and blocks, the Suns will come out of Oakland with a W.

Golden State Warriors: Stephen Curry
Curry, the 3rd year PG out of Davidson, was drafted 8th overall in 2009. If it were done again he’d be a top 5 pick for sure. After missing the start of the season with ankle trouble Curry has played very well, averaging 18 points and 7 assists each game this season. A game where he goes 20-10 against the Suns would really help the Warriors win.

Key Statistics
Rebounds:
Both the Suns and the Warriors are in the bottom 5 in the NBA in rebounding, only pulling down about 41 rebounds a game to the league leading 45. Both squads have an elite big man (Gortat for the Suns, PF David Lee for the Warriors) that can really pull down the ball when needed, and the team that has the rebounding edge in this one will come out on top.

Prediction
The Warriors are one of the higher scoring teams in the league and also have their own version of the big 3, Curry, Lee, and SG Monta Ellis. The Suns counter with Nash, one of the best point guards in the history of the NBA. While this game could swing either way for a variety of reasons, I think that you have to take the big 3 over the elite 1 in this situation.

Prediction = Golden State Warriors: 110 – Phoenix Suns: 90