If you didn’t stay up until almost 2:00 AM ET last night to watch the Suns’ triple-overtime loss to the Lakers, you missed one of the most intense NBA games of the season. Here are my key takeaways from that game as far as the Suns go:
- Marcin Gortat is probably a top 10 NBA center.
- Channing Frye can stroke from outside but he’s tissue-soft on defense and tends to seize up in clutch situations on offense when he’s double-teamed in the post — he committed a couple of key turnovers in those situations in overtime.
- Grant Hill and Steve Nash are modern medical wonders.
- Vince Carter should get the Suns’ renowned medical staff to take a look at that giant barbecue fork sticking out of his back.
You might think the Raptors will have a distinct advantage tonight since the Suns played such a grueling game the night before, but I don’t get the sense that Steve Nash understands the meaning of the word “tired”. There’s also the fact that the Raptors haven’t beaten the Suns in their last 13 meetings — Toronto’s last win was on February 10, 2004, when Vince Carter led Raptors scoring with 29 points.
Toronto: Amir Johnson is questionable for tonight with that ankle injury he’s still nursing.
Phoenix: Grant Hill should be fine to play in spite of last night’s triple-overtime game as long as his nurse brings his oxygen tank.
1. Was there a way the Raptors could have acquired Marcin Gortat instead of the Suns? He’s exactly the kind of center this team needs.
2. Do you agree with Suns coach Alvin Gentry that Grant Hill deserves consideration for Defensive Player of the Year?
3. Do you think the Suns still have a realistic shot at making the playoffs? They’re three games behind eighth-place Memphis in the West with 11 games to go.
4. Assuming the Suns will have to lean more heavily on their reserves than usual tonight because of last night’s marathon, who is your pick to light up the Raptors off the bench?
5. Since there is absolutely no chance of the Suns trying to retain Vince Carter’s services after this season, should the Raptors try to sign him on the cheap for a season for nostalgia’s sake?
Start time: 10:00 PM ET
Probable starting lineups
Toronto: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, James Johnson, Ed Davis, Andrea Bargnani
Phoenix: Steve Nash, Vince Carter, Grant Hill, Channing Frye, Robin Lopez
Tonight’s pregame song is a Late Night with Jimmy Fallon performance of “Sandwiches” by Odd Future. I’ll be honest, these guys scare me a little bit, but that’s probably because I’m old. They’re certainly energetic, though.