Preview: Phoenix Suns vs. San Antonio Spurs

Posted by on October 13th, 10:02 am

Time: 11:30 a.m. MST

TV: Not on local TV

A quick few questions as the Suns face the Spurs in San Antonio for a preseason, pre-noon tip.

Suns

Suns

Spurs

Spurs

How do the Suns handle Tony Parker with the revamped roster?

It might not mean anything considering head coach Jeff Hornacek went with Goran Dragic off the bench in a preseason victory against Portland. But if he starts Eric Bledsoe and Dragic, there’s a good bet it will be the newest member of the Suns guarding Spurs point guard Tony Parker. Theoretically, that would put Dragic on Danny Green, which is completely fine. It would also, at some points, pit Dragic against a guy he’s often compared to in Manu Ginobili — if he plays.

Anyhow, the Suns’ small backcourt hasn’t been tested against traditional lineups yet. Bledsoe has said he’s fine guarding bigger shooting guards, but there’s a lot of issues if there are two good players on the floor opposite Phoenix. Dragic isn’t the best one-on-one defender, but it’s a bigger wonder if he’s capable of defending bigger guards.

Speaking of matchups, how do the Suns attack the San Antonio post players?

The Suns probably wouldn’t be smart to defend against Tim Duncan with anyone but Marcin Gortat. Markieff Morris was getting pounded in the post last game by a thin LaMarcus Aldridge, after all. The Spurs re-signed Tiago Splitter this offseason to keep Duncan as a pseudo power forward, and if both play Sunday, it gives the Suns more chances to experiment with two big men at a time.

Miles Plumlee and Slava Kravtsov have been impressive in the minutes they’ve played, as has Channing Frye.

Does James Nunnally have a shot at making the roster?

It’s unclear who is first off the boat come the regular season. Malcolm Lee seems unlikely to make the roster considering he’s been too injured to suit up. Ish Smith looked decent in minutes against Maccabi Haifa, but the odds are stacked against him with so many point guards on the roster. Dionte Christmas and Nunnally could be fighting for the 15th roster spot.

Both Christmas and Nunnally would fill roles inspired by Spurs guard Danny Green, a longshot role player who became an NBA Finals hero as a 3-and-D swingman.

Kevin Zimmerman is the lead blogger and editor for Valley of the Suns. He is also editor of AZDesertSwarm.com, an Arizona Wildcats\’ blog, and a contributor at SB Nation and Pac-12.com.

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Tags: Phoenix Suns Preview · San Antonio Spurs

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kevin Zimmerman // Oct 13, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Well, all of these questions could go unanswered. Starting lineup is Dragic, Goodwin, Green, Markieff and Gortat. Markieff defending Timmy.

  • 2 Ty-Sun // Oct 13, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Interesting lineups Horny used today. Green had a good game and Christmas went 3-4 from the 3 point line. Both of the M&M twins looked weak and I would have said that Smith outplayed Marshall if not for the 3 turnovers. I missed the 1st quarter so I’m not sure why Dragic only played 8 mins. Bledsoe had a horrible shooting day (3 of 11) in 16 mins. And Gortat led the team in assists?!?!?!

    It was a fun game to listen to though.

  • 3 hawki // Oct 13, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    @ Ty-Sun

    I’m assuming the Suns staff is taking it easy on Goran since he just completed a tough Eurobasket Tournament…..Dragic expended a lot of energy in that Tourney.

    Nice to see my boy Gerald Green do something (19 pts).

  • 4 Ty-Sun // Oct 13, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    @hawki

    Thanks. I was hoping it was something like that and not an injury.

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