Welcome to rivalry.
Dirk vs Nash.
Terry vs Nash.
Kidd vs Nash.
Vince vs The Suns.
Shawn Marion vs the Suns.
You get the picture, right?
The Suns and the Mavs have a history. A history that’s not likely to repeat for anyone in the current rosters. Well, it might for Marcin Gortat, Markieff Morris, Roddie Beabouis and Ian Mahinmi. But you get my point.
Now, the reigning champs visit Phoenix with a freshly-back Dirk, and straight off a overtime game with the Spurs.
That overtime game might be the saving grace of the night for Phoenix. The Suns managed to hang around with the Mavs with and without Dirk, but they haven’t played the Mavs being the more rested team yet. Or the home team.
Yet, all those advantages might go out the door if Steve Nash doesn’t manage to play. Nash bruised his thigh after a knock from Marc Gasol (is it safe to say that European centers not named Marcin Gortat hate Nash this season? First Erden, now Gasol. Nash’d do well to watch out for Ian Mahinmi tonight), and is questionable for the game itself.
Now, even if Ronnie Price will start in his place (which I assume will be the case) the Suns will still have a mini-shot at the tired Mavs. Ronnie showed that when put in pick and rolls with Gortat against inferior inside defences (New Jersey) he can be successful. Guess who the Mavs let carve their defence up in their last two meetings with Phoenix? Yep, Marcin.
And so, as the game approaches, there are two win-or-lose questions ahead of Phoenix: How will back-to-backtitis affect the Mavs, and will Steve Nash play? Without that, all that’s left is hoping that: Marcin Gortat returns to efficiency (which he should, given that Haywood has trouble defending him), Jared Dudley continues balling, and Grant Hill doesn’t go senile. These are your only hopes Suns fans, now go ahead and bury your head in your hand.