It’s not exactly Suns-Spurs in late May, but when Partizan Belgrade comes to town tonight at 7 p.m. at US Airways Center there will be a hint of excitement in the air because along with it brings the start of another NBA season.
Suns fans have been waiting quite some time for that to be the case with the season ending in mid-April for the first time since 2004.
Euroleague.net does a nice job of giving you everything you need to know about Partizan, Suns assistant coach Igor Kokoskov’s old team. My only disappointment is that Ivan Radenovic, Channing Frye’s old frontcourt running mate at Arizona and a native of Belgrade, does not suit up for this team.
Partizan’s players will likely be jacked up to play an NBA team in an NBA arena whereas it will just be the first game of the preseason for Suns like Steve Nash and Grant Hill.
It will be interesting to see how Alvin Gentry juggles the minutes at the center spot with Robin Lopez slated to miss at least the first three weeks of the regular season with his fractured foot.
As disappointing as it is that Lopez will miss the preseason considering he could probably use these meaningless games more than anyone, at least now Gentry has eight games to play with rotations and decide how he wants to replace Lopez’s minutes at the start of the year.
Lou will probably get some more time, and I can’t wait to see how Earl Clark will fare if the Suns are serious about giving him some minutes at the five. Then again, I’m probably more excited to see how Clark’s skills fit into this Phoenix Suns basketball team in a game situation than I am about anything else to do with this game.
UPDATE: Nash out tonight
Suns guard Steve Nash is out tonight with a chest cold (AKA he’s Steve Nash and doesn’t want or need to play in the first preseason game). That will leave more time for tonight’s starting point guard, Goran Dragic, and Alvin Gentry said Dan Dickau would get some looks at the one tonight as well.