Game Thread: Suns (22-15) at Raptors (16-25)

Suns 117, Raptors 113

Suns

Suns

Raptors

Raptors

The Suns better hope heading east will be able to staunch their bleeding, as they will play six games in the next nine days back East, including another pair of back-to-back sets after dropping back-to-back games back west.

That all starts north of the border with an early Sunday morning visit to Toronto.

While everybody else in the Valley will be awaiting the Cardinals and their pursuit of the Super Bowl, first on the docket is brunch with the Suns.

I really feel a trip like this could go a long way toward creating more chemistry with the Suns. The guys will be out on their own for a week and a half with none of the distractions of home, and aside from Monday’s game in Boston, none of the teams are particularly scary.

Something like 4-2 is reasonable if the Suns play well, and thus I think it should be a goal Phoenix shoots for.

Steve Nash is sure to get bombarded by the Toronto media about Sam Smith’s report on NBA.com in which the veteran reporter wrote he “heard talk about such a possibility around the NBA” of Phoenix dealing Nash to Toronto although it never sounds like much more than a rumor.

That’s why I didn’t think it was relevant to even bring up until now because do you see the Suns dealing Nash, Leandro Barbosa and Robin Lopez (OK, they can take Lopez) for Jose Calderon, Andrea Bargnani, Anthony Parker, Jason Kapono and “perhaps” Jamario Moon?

Although it makes sense for the Raptors to do anything possible to win with Chris Bosh before 2010 and for the Suns to eventually reload around Amare, possibly without Nash, I can’t see the Suns essentially mailing in their best shot at a championship the next couple years and the Raptors giving up that much for an aging point guard, a bench guy and a rookie who has shown nothing this year.

If the Suns were presented with this offer, they’d really have to think about it as much of a PR hit as it would be because they would be getting some serious talent in return.

But I just don’t see any way either team would make this deal today, with the Suns in contention (theoretically at least) and Toronto not.

Of course, Nash has previously mentioned Toronto as a possibility along with Phoenix and New York when his contract runs out in 2010, and maybe if the Suns flame out in the first round as a low seed this season they’d consider a makeover next summer, when winning with Bosh would be even more urgent for Toronto and former Suns GM Bryan Colangelo.

But I think it’s pretty safe to assume Nash will be making his only appearance in Canada this season Sunday morning.

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