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.

Injury report

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.

Five questions

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
Channel: TSN
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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CyMuBi-kH8

Comments (8)

  1. “… should get the Suns’ renowned medical staff to take a look at that giant barbecue fork sticking out of his back.” Man, I laughed a little too loudly at that one.

  2. Scott:

    Go quick if you can catch it (for some reason my “save page” function on Firefox is not saving the html version or I would send you a link), the Fan 590 have Jones and Smith on the main web page with the heading: Preview: Raptors @ Phoenix Coyotes . C’mon, that’s priceless.

  3. I understand you’re just playing to the retard Toronto fan who boos Alex Rios with that Vince Carter comment but he is what he is at this point. He’s a 34 year old role player who’s having an okay season, I don’t understand why you hold him to some insane standard just so you can criticize him.

  4. oh scott, that is scary like Scooby Doo Mysteries and Slip Knot are scary (the playacting, the stagecraft). Big friggin joke. Real scary at the time were true believers like Terminator X and the Fruit of Islam bodyguards (their idiotic anti-semitism is unforgivable of course). But, this should be your music of the day. Especially with the racist &^%% coming out of there and anti-immigration movement

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrFOb_f7ubw

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am9BqZ6eA5c

  5. PBI: Carter is guilty of some of the same offenses that drive us crazy about Bargnani. Vince had way more natural talent, of course. But he never did the work to get the most out of his abilities and he’s still lazy now that he’s a shell of a player he used to be.

    Trust me when I say that most Suns fans despise Vince and can’t wait until he’s off their team. If you of all people are willing to give him a pass considering how he squandered his talent, then I don’t know what else to say to you.

  6. I’m so sick of the “squandered the talent” argument, every 6’6 athletic wing isn’t going to be Michael Jordan or even Kobe Bryant. He just didn’t have the mental toughness/work ethic to compliment his physical gifts yet still had a very good career.

    Maybe I’m crazy, but I accept his flaws and try to put his career in perspective instead of just looking at his peak (ignoring his obvious deficiencies) and expecting him to maintain it for an unreasonable amount of time.

    As for the whole Suns thing, he was basically thrown into that deal to make it work and is being used a lot more than he should be as a primary offensive option so it’s not surprising to see him struggle or Suns fans reacting negatively to him because of his struggles. They made that deal basically to get Gortat anyway.

  7. Ahhh PBI. You had me at “Maybe I’m crazy”.

    PS. He was not ” thrown into that deal to make it work ” , he was tossed because he couldnt finish and was a black hole. Nash wanted Hedo off the team at training camp. Headache traded for headache.

  8. His salary for next year isn’t fully guaranteed (only $4 million of it is, I believe) so he’s basically an expiring contract.

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