On the Run: Fast-Moving Phoenix Suns Host OKC Tonight and the Boston Celtics Sunday
More impressive than the 140 or more points scored in each of the Phoenix Suns' dominating victories over the Los Angeles Clippers is this quote by Clippers guard Eric Gordon, which followed the second game of the Alvin Gentry era.
"They are going to be a really hard team to beat now that they are running up and down the court and moving at a fast pace. We're not that bad. The Suns are just really good."
Oh yeah, baby. The Suns are back to their running-and-gunning ways.
So is it time to make space in the rafters for a championship banner? Um, no. However, if the Suns continue their high-flying attack -- led by the resurging Amare Stoudemire, who's averaging 32.5 points in the past two games - against some heftier competition this weekend, then the Suns are definitely playoff bound. And they'll be doing it with their roster intact, as the trade deadline came and went with no deal going down.
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First up on Friday's the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team that's hardly the stiffest drink in the NBA's liquor cabinet. The 13-41 Thunder have lost three straight and reside in the cellar of the Northwest Division, 24 games out of first. But OKC's given Phoenix fits in two previous contests this season, only losing by a combined nine points. But these are the new Suns, so near-hiccups could be a thing of the past. The Suns just need to run, run, and then run some more, and the talent imbalance should take care of itself. One Thunder player to watch for if you like up-and-coming ballers is team leader in scoring Kevin Durant. The small forward upped his 26 points per game average the other night against the New Orleans Hornets with a career-high 47.
The biggie takes place on Sunday when the reigning champion Boston Celtics come to play in downtown Phoenix. Since shallecking the Suns in Boston on January 19, the Celts have gone 10-2, the only losses coming at home to the playoff-bound L.A. Lakers and San Antonio Spurs. The usual suspects have been lighting it up since then, such as the so-called "Big Three," Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce. But Eddie House has been making the most out of his limited minutes of late, scoring a team-high 23 and 28 in wins against the Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings. This will be a tough one to win for the Suns, but with this new fuzzy feeling that fans are experiencing, doesn't anything good seem possible?
The Suns host Oklahoma City at US Airways Center at 7 p.m. tonight. Tune into FSN-AZ to view that game. Then, at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, the mighty Celtics hit the Suns' gym for a nationally televised matchup on ABC. Both games can be heard locally on the radio at KTAR-AM 620.