Preview: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns


Time: 7:00 p.m. MST

TV: Not on local TV

A few quick questions as the Phoenix Suns return home from their mini two-game road trip to host a Pacific Division foe in the Los Angeles Clippers.

Suns

Suns

Clippers

Clippers

How do Suns fans handle the return of Jared Dudley?

Even though Tuesday’s matchup is of the exhibition variety, Jared Dudley’s return to the Valley is noteworthy both from an organizational and individual standpoint.

Dudley’s four-plus seasons in Phoenix helped make him an attractive commodity, one that a title contender like the Clippers would be interested in on the trade market. The same was not true when he first arrived in Dec. 2008 in a deal that revolved more so around Jason Richardson.

At the same time, Dudley was a linchpin on a second unit that helped carry the team to unexpected heights in 2009-10. And even in recent years, as the team trotted out a product that fans grew to dislike the more they watched it, Dudley remained a fan favorite, the type of guy who was easier to cheer for despite records and postseasons missed.

While the six-year veteran likely won’t be going up in the “Ring of Honor” after his playing days are over, it’ll still be weird to see him wearing a red and blue No. 9 jersey.

For those that make their way through the US Airways Center turnstiles Tuesday, the answer to the question posed above should be a simple one.

The crowd should welcome him back with a much-deserved standing ovation.

But, we will wait and see if that comes to fruition.

Speaking of the Jared Dudley trade, does Jeff Hornacek let Eric Bledsoe start on the man he backed up for three seasons, Chris Paul?

As Kevin Zimmerman noted after the Suns’ 106-99 win over the San Antonio Spurs Sunday, head coach Jeff Hornacek isn’t rushing a finished product.

The result, at least during the preseason, has been a lot of mixing and matching when it comes to the starting lineups.

As it pertains to arguably the most intriguing plotline of the 2013-14 season — the Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe Experience — Hornacek hasn’t really shown much of a hand just yet. Dragic and Bledsoe both started the preseason opener against Maccabi Haifa, and since the two have each been given the started nod at point guard on separate occasions (Dragic in San Antonio and Goodwin in Portland).

At this point, predicting the lineups is nothing more than guesswork, but from a confidence perspective it might be smart to let Bledsoe start against his former team and guard six-time All-Star Chris Paul — at least at the onset of the contest.

Bledsoe knows Paul’s tendencies better than anyone else on the Suns’ roster, but more importantly it might be nice to give the former Kentucky standout a chance to create one of those “I’m just fine on my own” moments before the regular season gets underway.

Does Channing Frye get some run against Blake Griffin?

Preseason or regular season, it doesn’t matter much when it comes to these two. They don’t like each other too much.

Now obviously the tension between Frye and Griffin has likely simmered quite a bit since they last faced each other in April 2011 — as the former was forced to sit out all of last season due to a heart condition.

However, it’s rarely been mundane when the power forwards meet down on the block. There have been horrific shooting nights, flagrant fouls and even a few highlight reel dunks. Regardless of the stakes, it’s always entertaining.

Frye, of course, is still trying to get back into game shape in preparation for the season opener on Oct. 30, however it would be fun to see the former Arizona star lock up with Griffin Tuesday, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Intensity is never a bad thing, even in an exhibition contest.

  • Scott

    I think Hornacek has mostly finished with his probing of the players to try to find weaknesses and combos. Now he’ll want to try to build chemistry with units he intends to use in the regular season.

    So yes, I expect him to start Bledsoe against Paul.

  • Ty-Sun

    Dudley deserves an ovation.

    I’m not sure if Horny is through tinkering with the lineups yet. With such low expectations for the team this year I’m not sure if the line between preseason and regular season games means a lot. But at a certain point everyone will have to learn their roles and how to play together in a stable 1st unit and rotation.

  • foreveris2long

    I am just happy I can watch the game on tv in Southern California.

  • BCrayZ

    Dud & Louis were integral parts of “that killer bench unit.”

  • BCrayZ

    They have now been “reunited”, along with Alvin Gentry, in Clippers uniforms.

    Louis spoiled our comeback last night by making the game-winning hoop on his only shot. Not sure whether or not he will still be on their team by the regular season opening game.

    MUST reunite “that killer bench unit.” Ler’s go SUNS!!!!