Rise and shine, Phoenix.
Fresh off an easy 110-92 victory over Toronto to start off the East Coast swing, the Suns get back to action bright and early Sunday morning against the Pacers.
Newly acquired point guard Aaron Brooks is scheduled to make his Suns debut shortly after the game tips off at noon local time.
In recent Phoenix trades, new players have taken quite a few games to get adapted to the system, so it will be interesting to see how quickly Brooks meshes with his new teammates.
Brooks brings a scoring edge to the team, a key component absent from Goran Dragic’s game in the months leading up to the deal.
The Pacers are a young, quick team with an electric point guard themselves in Darren Collison.
Getting off to a fast start Sunday will be crucial for both teams.
It would be useful for the Suns to get up early so Alvin Gentry can use part of the game to rest Steve Nash and give Brooks some extended looks.
The Suns still have four more road games before heading back to Phoenix so any way to keep legs fresh will only help moving forward.
The Pacers are coming off a 95-84 loss to Utah, which could have helped the Suns if Indiana had won.
The Pacers came after the new-look Jazz with a balanced scoring effort but came up short down the stretch.
Collison had 16, Roy Hibbert had 14 and Danny Granger, who has a history with Channing Frye, had 17.
Somehow Indiana is still holding onto the eighth and final playoff spot in the East despite having a record well below .500.
In the Suns’ 13th straight win over the Raptors, Phoenix did exactly what they should be aiming to do Sunday.
After the first quarter, the Suns held a 35-14 lead that was never really tested beyond a few mini-runs by Toronto.
Zabian Dowdell got 18 minutes of action in clean-up minutes that should be transferred over to Brooks once he arrives Sunday.
Who Gentry plays Brooks with will also be something to look out for.
Once that is established, the rotation for the Suns should be pretty well set in stone, which is something the team hasn’t been able to say all year.
Games against low-level teams like the Pacers have given Phoenix fits all season.
The Suns can’t afford to give up games to teams they should beat anymore.
As of Sunday morning, the team is still stuck in 10th place in the West but they are tied in the loss column for eighth with Memphis.
If teams like Utah and Denver start to fade because of trading away their star players, the Suns should be able to take advantage and sneak in the playoffs.
The last time Phoenix met Indiana was Dec. 3 at U.S. Airways Arena. The Suns won 105-97 with the help of 29 points from Frye.
The last time Phoenix made the trip to Indiana, the team got tripped up and lost 122-114.