Sports

Western Conference Rival Mavs Return Tonight for Another Shot at Suns

What's the one thing the Phoenix Suns learned during their spirit-crushing Christmas Day defeat by the San Antonio Spurs? That they still have heaps of trouble with the Western Conference's elite. (They also have problems with getting clipped at the buzzer. See Wednesday night's gut-wrenching defeat against the Pacers.)

Another team that engages a big "o crap" is the Dallas Mavericks. For whatever reason, the Mavs frequently hand it to the Suns' behind. It seems that every time the teams play, Jason Terry hits some big three or Dirk Nowitzki (pictured) backs down a big man for a game-winning shot.

Maybe that's why the Suns have been making some changes of late. For example, on Monday, the team released reserve guard Dee Brown; thus, making room for a yet-to-be-filled roster spot. (The one candidate on everybody's short list, Shaun Livingston, was dealt from the Heat to the Grizzlies on Wednesday.) Whoever the Suns decide on bringing in, they should think about acquiring a ball-handling point guard who can be inserted into the lineup in case the often-aling Steve Nash can't go.

But before the team brings in a new face, there's a greater concern. Namely, the elite Mavs, coming to town for a nationally televised ESPN game tonight at US Airways Center. Tip's at 7:30 p.m. See www.nba.com/suns. TV: ESPN. Radio: KTAR-AM 620.

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Steve Jansen
Contact: Steve Jansen