The Suns couldn’t possibly lose to the NBA-worst Kings twice in one week, right?
If you ask head coach Alvin Gentry, this is the first time Phoenix is playing Sacramento in its “new season” after last season ended Sunday night in Sacramento, but for those of us who believe in the 82-game season thing the Suns will be out for revenge for the major dent the Kings put in their playoff push over the weekend.
On paper, again, the Suns should win this one handily. The Kings have won a mere five games in 37 chances away from ARCO Arena, including that 48-point walloping in US Airways Center in early February.
The Suns’ high-powered offense should take advantage of the NBA’s worst defense, a unit that yields 111.6 points per 100 possessions, but then again offense wasn’t the reason Phoenix lost in Sacramento.
In that loss “last season,” or last Sunday, the Suns yielded three straight 35-point first quarters along with 51.6 percent shooting. They cut the lead to four late but never got it down to a one-possession game.
This contest will also bring the return of speedy guard Leandro Barbosa, according to The Arizona Republic.
LB always plays it a bit safe with his injuries, but that’s exactly what he has done as we approach the middle of the third week of an injury expected to keep him out one to three weeks.
The Suns desperately need the scoring punch he brings, and (not to look past the Kings, of course) they need him to be feeling his best going into Sunday’s showdown in Dallas.
Meanwhile, it goes without saying the Suns must win this game – and probably every other contest this season – down four games with seven to play.
But the Suns haven’t given up hope yet, with a miracle run still a possibility however doubtful it is.
“It’s not over, we’re not eliminated yet,” J-Rich told Suns.com. “We’re going to continue to play and we still believe we have a chance. We have a game on Sunday in Dallas that’s going to be huge for us, but we’ve got one on Friday and we’ve got to take it one at a time.”
Yep, no time like the present for the Suns to bust out one of my favorite sports clichés.