Mirror Ball

The mirror image is the most compelling rival. A guy struggling with his demons is way more entertaining when the demons are physical rather than figurative.

The Phoenix Suns kick off the NBA preseason by playing their own evil twin when they take on Serbian powerhouse Partizan Belgrade in an exhibition at US Airways Center. The game will feature two teams looking to bounce back from mediocre seasons, but the similarities don’t end there. Both squads feature power forwards with bad nicknames -- the Suns with Amar’e “STAT” Stoudemire and Partizan with Zarko “The Rock” Rakocevic. Each team also starts a white dude at point guard. Most important, the two run the exact same up-tempo offense, so the tussle promises to be a fast-paced affair with scores creeping into the triple digits.

Tue., Oct. 6, 7 p.m., 2009


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