Season Opener Preview: Gortathumb and an Opportunity to Start on a High Note

Remember when the Hornets started 10-0 last season? Well, this season they might start 0-10. The trade for Chris Paul has left them with Eric Gordon… And that’s about it. Al-Faruq Aminu as solid as he is, won’t make much happen, Chris Kaman on a bad team is recipe for self-destruction, and Jarrett Jack starting on point guard makes me feel very dirty.

The truth is that if the Suns don’t make this a blowout, I’ll be disappointed. Gortat has a history of good games against New Orleans (Mek or no Mek) and with even less trouble on the pick and roll (my minds eye already sees Jarrett Jack confused whether to go under or over Gortat’s screen). Expect him to prove his thumb is ok, get to the line a lot, and nail a lot of his free throws.

Speaking of his thumb, Gortat said on Christmas Eve that he was pretty sure he was ready, just after swishing ten free throws in a row. He said he might have a problem on defence, but I doubt Emeka Okafor and Chris Kaman will use that to their advantage. As for the offensive end? He can’t dunk with his right hand, but his layups are usually finished with his left hand either way. Worry not folks, he’ll be scaring everyone with his rolling.

Now, his injury will still require some rest, after all you don’t want to overplay him right now, especially with how Robin Lopez has been rolling. Or, so Alvin Gentry says. After Robin’s dismal night in Denver, I’m not sure he’s ready to take a bigger responsibility. But whatever happens, I’m sure Gentry will ride the hot hand, even if the hand will have a bum thumb.

Except for Gortat’s thumb, everybody’s pretty healthy, so expect a full effort from the Suns — something we didn’t get a glimpse of in the preseason.

It’s time to rise folks, and it’s hard to expect anything else than a win from the Suns in tonight’s contest.

Do: Play Gortat as long as he feels good with it
Do not: Play Channing Frye at center


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Tags: Grant Hill Marcin Gortat Opening Day 2011-12 Phoenix Suns Season Opener Steve Nash Suns

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