PHOENIX — Suns center Robin Lopez will return to the floor on Friday in Minnesota after missing the entire season with a fractured left foot that he suffered during training camp.
“Unless something dramatic happens in the next few days, either he eats too much turkey or something, then he’ll go Friday,” said Suns head coach Alvin Gentry.
During his pregame chat with reporters, Gentry called Grizzlies center Marc Gasol one of the most underrated players in the league, although maybe he shouldn’t be with his averages of 15.4 and 10.7. Gentry wouldn’t bite on a tongue in cheek question asking if that means the Grizzlies got a good deal when they acquired Marc in the infamous trade involving his more famous brother Pau.
It’s also worth noting that Memphis leads the NBA in offensive rebounds, averaging 13.3 per contest, whereas only the Lakers allow more offensive rebounds than Phoenix, with the Suns yielding 12.7 per contest.
In theory the Suns should win their seventh straight home game against the Grizzlies, but Gentry doesn’t exactly see this as a gimme.
“Memphis is pretty good,” Gentry said. “Everyone talks about this as an easy game, but in the NBA if you don’t play well you have a chance to lose. …. These guys have a lot of talent. We’ll have to play well.”
Channing Frye has hit five less three-pointers on the season than Memphis (43). Overall, the Suns have six of the league’s top 38 three-point bombers, all six of whom shoot better than 40 percent, whereas Rudy Gay leads Memphis at 36.7 percent.