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The Other Side: Phoenix Suns

Kaboom! (Photo by Sam Forencich /NBAE via Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns defeated the Wizards, 102-90, at Verizon Center on Nov. 8 and welcome them to the US Airways Center, where they have won nine in a row and 18 straight dating back to last season. In the last meeting, Suns guard Jason Richardson scored a team-high 22 points. Richardson is expected to return on Saturday after missing the Suns' disappointing 81-70 loss to Portland on Thursday with a sprained hand. He is averaging 25.3 points in his last six games against Wizards.

Here's what else you need to know about the Suns:

1. The Suns will have their first extended homestand of the season, with the next four games and 10 or their next 12 overall in Phoenix. They are the league's only unbeaten home team, but they are 8-9 on the road.

2. Alvin Gentry has brought back the fun to the Suns by letting Steve Nash go crazy again. Nash leads the league in assists again, but he is really getting the job done with his shooting. Nash is about to have his sixth consecutive 50-40-90 season with the Suns. He's shooting 53.4 percent from the floor, 45.3 percent from the three-point line, and 94.1 percent from the floor. He is one of six players on the Suns who are shooting 40 percent or better on 3-pointers. Phoenix has scored at least 100 points in 35 consecutive home games and is the most efficient offense in the league. Being with the Suns has helped Channing Frye rediscover his game.

3. Amaré Stoudemire is back producing at a high level. He's averaging 22.3 points and 9.3 rebounds in the past six games, including a 27-point, 11-rebound performance against Portland. He will be a free agent next summer, but his contract situation is not a concern.

By Michael Lee  |  December 19, 2009; 5:22 PM ET
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Next: Wizards (8-16) at Suns (17-9)


The Suns are engaging in wishful thinking. There's no way Stoudemire doesn't exercise that option if he finishes the season in good health. According to my math, $60-80 million over five years is still more than the $17 million he leaves on the table if he opts out this year.

Posted by: 2020doc | December 19, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

This looks like a daunting task for our Wizards.

But, Gilbert seems to swagging with bit more confidocium.

Ya' think he might want to Trash the Nash a little bit tonight BulletsFan78.

Hey BulletsFan78, if Gilbert should Trash the Nash tonight, I know you gonna' be the first one in to profess your amazement.

How bout' it.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 19, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

It sucks because its a back to back, we had to travel, and the game time is earlier than it was yesterday. Guys looked like they were tired at alot of points yesterday so they could be dead today. However, I always think that alot of that fatigue BS is overrated, espically early in the season. Weve played a ton of games recently and are at the end of a road trip but we did get our 1st win in forever and you could see that the guys were super happy last night. Sometimes stuff like that can carry you on its own. Its like they are finally feeling good about themselves so they wont get tired. Then if you listen to Gil talk right now, he is mad confident and he gives it to the Suns just as much as he gives it to the Warriors, espically on the road. We always matchup well with the Suns and give the fits. I could honestly see the time being tired & buzzing out, espically if AJ is out or limited but I could also see Gil going for 40 again with Caron having another big game.

Blatche usually shows up in games like this also, so if AJ was limited, I think he would play well against Amare along with Oberto. The bench has sucked so much lately that they are due for a good game right at the most important time. I think the bench will look 10x better when we add a 6th man of the year to it when Miller gets back but tonight I think some guys will show up. The Suns are obviously better than GS but they still arent far from them in terms of having a Center like Frye who in no way can defend the rim and having guys on the perimiter like Nash. Hill is good but he's too old to slow down Butler and if AJ is right, he will torch Stoudamire. Again, alot of this stuff goes both ways but Im just telling you why we can be in the game and then some. You will probably know alot by midway through the 1st but this is another one of those Arenas games where he can flat out go off if he's right

Posted by: dlts20 | December 19, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

It sucks because its a back to back, we had to travel, and the game time is earlier than it was yesterday. Guys looked like they were tired at alot of points yesterday so they could be dead today.


One more reason to play McGee tonight. Everyone Knows that Haywood can't play 30 mpg every night and esp not back to back/

Amare might school McGee a little, but he needs some schooling.

And all you know nothings who keep saying that we should replace AJ with AB, you do know that Ab made the same 4 shots on only 2 fewer tries (4-12 vs 4-14) than Jamison but in 15 fewer minutes?

Jamison had a bad shooting night last night. AB has a bad shooting night most nights.

Jamison needs a center who can lay the beat down once in a while and sub who can soften guys up for a few minutes. Jamisons game isn't D, we all know that, but he did get 4 steals, so he had to be hustling and in the right spot.

Posted by: Blurred | December 19, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

If I'm going to have PF that jacks it up all night, I at least want it to be a guy who is capable of dropping 30 on a semi regular basis.

Posted by: Blurred | December 19, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the BB Gods are about to start smiling on the Wizzies.
We're overdo.
They gotta not have those 18 point quarters and if they get a nice lead to keep adding to it and not let them back in it like we've done in the past.
2nd of a B2B.
Gotta utilize the bench,
Why even take Javale on this trip if all he does is cheer and sit.

Posted by: VBFan | December 19, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

"Why even take Javale on this trip if all he does is cheer and sit."

McGee might play in this game. They really don't have anybody to bother Stoudemire.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 19, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Ouch, talk about a terrible matchup.

If the Wizards keep this game reasonably close - around ~10 points - I'll be amazed. Suns will jump all over them at the start.

This could get real ugly, real fast.

Posted by: SteveMG | December 19, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

"McGee might play in this game."

or we could see Oldberto and Flip can say afterwards it was the right move since the savvy vet is so familiar with the Suns

Posted by: divi3 | December 19, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

i'd like to see Gil take it to Nash every chance he gets, the best way to beat the Suns is to exploit nash's inability to defend as much as possible.

of course, same can be said of our pg's...

Posted by: divi3 | December 19, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

and somebody knock amare on his butt the first ez layup chance he gets

Posted by: divi3 | December 19, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Between the no-defense of Gilbert and Nash, I think that Gilbert has the edge.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 19, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

We have people trying to defend Flip sorry butt. He's really peeing me off with his coaching and the players know he's a bum and starting to rebel also. I will be so glad when Ernie and his sorry coaching friend get fired.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | December 19, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

rnbrown4 - It has only been what 20 something games so far? Any coach deserves at least a year and a half before he gets fired. Flip has installed a totally brand new system that takes time to master. Can somebody say "Redskins and West Coast Offense"? How are the skins starting to look now after, what a year and a half?

Now one bone I have to pick with Flip is his decisions to not play McGee "AT ALL". Again, you have a 7 ft. version of the "Birdman" from Denver. How can he hurt you playing 5 mins a quarter blowing Haywood???? Now that is the one and only thing I have a beef about with Flip.

As for Ernie, another poster made a great point on how a lot of Ernie's moves, or non moves, were probably dictated by Abe Pollen. Abe wanted Gil and AJ and endorsed those big contracts. Ernie was only following orders.

Posted by: BulletsFever | December 19, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Abe wanted Gil and AJ and endorsed those big contracts. Ernie was only following orders.

Posted by: BulletsFever

Abe was loyal to his boys. Ernie, Wes, AJ & Gil I think things will be a lot different now. If there is something that looks like a good deal for the Wizzies there will not be any loyalties to consider.

Me thinks Javale needs to do some butt smooching. We all had to do it one time or another for some a--hole boss. Javale is young and hasn't learned how to get his way yet. Maybe Deshawn can give him some tips.

Posted by: VBFan | December 19, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Javale does not have to do any butt smooching. Do your think he and his mother are stupid. I don't think so. The Wizards and Flip are blowing it with this guy.

When his contract runs out he will be out of here if the Wizards do not wise up. And he will get a good contract.

Do anyone doubt that the good organizations do not know what a good prospect he really is? I don't.

Javale McGee is the real deal and it is a shame that Flip Saunders dosen't realize it.

It is just as bad as Dave Cowens who did not care for rookies and traded the rights to Kobe Bryant from Carolina to the Lakers for veterans that did nothing to help the Charlotte Hornets win anything.

No way does Javale McGee has to smooch any butt to prove that he is a player in the NBA.

It will be the Wizards loss, AGAIN.

Ask Javale McGee and his mother do they know that patience is a virtue.

He only has I think one more year to put up with this Flip Saunders crapola.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 19, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

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