|U.S. Airways Center|
|Sun Sports HD|
|Steve Nash||PG||Jameer Nelson|
|Leandro Barbosa||SG||Keith Bogans|
|Grant Hill||SF||Hedo Turkoglu|
|Shawn Marion||PF||Rashard Lewis|
|Amare Stoudemire||C||Dwight Howard|
25 words or fewer: The Orlando Magic test their league-best 9-1 road record against one of the NBA's elite teams, the Phoenix Suns.
Know your enemy: The Suns have lost their last two games.
Useless information: Dallas, Phoenix, and San Antonio lost each of their games on Monday. When was the last time that happened?
- UPDATE: Grant Hill tells Brian Schmitz that he thinks the Magic "are for real." That's high praise, and might have just made my day... unless he was trying to jinx us. That's not cool.
UPDATE: John Denton writes that the Magic treat both Inspector Carlos Arroyo and Jameer Nelson like starting point guards, despite the fact that Nelson is the real starter.
Arroyo said he and Nelson are able to coexist in the Magic backcourt because they are close friends and support each other. Both would prefer to play more minutes, but they understand that Van Gundy is going to simply ride the hot hand from game to game.
"We don’t get all caught up in who’s playing and who’s not playing," Arroyo said. "We don’t care who’s getting the credit as long as we’re winning. It’s working for us."
I used to think that the Magic should trade Arroyo's expiring deal for frontcourt help. Now? I'd rather not lose him.
- The last time the Magic played the Suns, Leandro Barbosa started in place of an injured Raja Bell and scored a career-high 39 points. It may be deja vu all over again for Orlando, as Bell is ailing again, meaning Barbosa will likely get the start tonight. (Hat tip: Bright Side of the Sun)
- John Denton spoke with Grant Hill about getting booed in his return to Orlando last month, and Grant explained that he's not bitter about it. I'm still bitter about that whackjob who shouted "Hill, you suck!" during the national anthem.
Brian Schmitz expects Stan Van Gundy to win Coach of the Year. I know we're only a month into the season, but it's hard to disagree with him. Of particular note in that blog entry:
Sports Illustrated, which didn't even pick the Magic in its preseason special to make the playoffs, will be in Phoenix to prepare a piece on the team.
Sweet! I doubt it'll be the cover story, but it'd be nice if it were. It's been far too long since we've been on the cover.
- Former Magic coach and current TV analyst Matt Guokas says Dwight Howard may not be built like Shaq, but "the dominance is there." In further describing Dwight's game, Guokas invokes Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain. Did I mention that Howard isn't yet 22 years old?
- This link has absolutely nothing to do with tonight's game, but screw it, it needs to be passed on: The Knicks got their asses pillaged (to paraphrase Posting and Toasting) by the Celtics last night, and KnickerBlogger responds. (Hat tip: TrueHoop)
- Still no word as to whether or not Keyon Dooling will be able to play tonight; as far as I know, he's still recovering from food poisoning he suffered over the weekend.
- Speaking of KnickerBlogger, its advanced stats page dispels the notion that the Suns don't play a lick of defense. Adjusted for pace, the Suns are the ninth-best defensive team in the league, which is especially remarkable considering that they play at the second-fastest pace of any team.