Preview: San Antonio Spurs (19-5) vs Phoenix Suns (14-9)

Posted by on December 18th, 10:40 am

Time: 7 p.m. MST

TV: FSA

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The Phoenix Suns are on their first five-game winning streak since January of 2011 and hope to extend that to six games tonight against the San Antonio Spurs. A win tonight would make it their longest winning streak since they won 10 straight in March and April of 2010.

The task will be tough for the surprising Suns as they host a 19-5 Spurs team that is coming off a 115-92 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night. The defending Western Conference Champions have yet to loss back-to-back games this season, but will be without their All-Star point guard Tony Parker, who left Monday’s game with a right shin contusion and has been ruled out two games.

The Spurs defeated the Suns 99-96 during the first week of the season in San Antonio but the Suns were without Goran Dragic for that game. Jeff Hornacek mentioned after practice Tuesday that the team felt like it let that game get away and are excited to get another chance at them.

Does Goran Dragic make a difference?

The Spurs were able to hold off the Suns in the final minutes of their 99-96 win and held Phoenix to just five points in the final 2:48 of that game. You would figure that having Dragic that night would have changed the outcome in their favor. The Dragon is averaging 19.1 points per game and has led the team in scoring in two of their last three wins.

How do the Suns handle a brighter spotlight?

The Suns are becoming the leagues darling team through the first 23 games by surpassing just about everyone’s expectations. With that success comes more pressure to keep winning games. It also means a greater media presence nationally.

Tonight is another chance against a high profile team to make a mark around the league. The Spurs have not lost back-to-back games this season and will give the Suns their biggest punch, with or without Parker. With so much praise being given to such a young team, a let-down of some sort is almost inevitable. Can they avoid that let-down and shine bright against the conference champs?

Do the Suns control the boards?

One of the few struggles of this team has been rebounding the basketball. The Suns are 21st in the NBA averaging 41.9 rebounds per game and have struggled in the past few games controlling the boards. Wednesday night gives them a good chance to get back on track against a mediocre rebounding team. In fact, the Spurs are ranked second-to-last in the league in offensive rebounding, so there should be no excuses for them to not out-rebound the Spurs.

Jeffrey Sanders

Jeffrey Sanders is a ValleyoftheSuns staff writer currently working toward his degree in broadcast journalism at Arizona State University. He is also involved in on-campus groups, such as the Blaze 1330 AM and CronkiteSports.com.

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Tags: Phoenix Suns Preview · San Antonio Spurs

21 responses so far ↓

  • 1 vtsunrise // Dec 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    We need a countdown from Butler for this one.

  • 2 vtsunrise // Dec 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Subtract Tony Parker and add Goran Dragic? Hmmm… Suns 102-Spurs 96.

  • 3 Voqar // Dec 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Previously stated that few things are better than seeing the Suns beat the Lakers.

    Well, beating the Spurs would be one of those few things.

    Looking forward to the game and hoping the Suns pummel them.

  • 4 Bill Danforth // Dec 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    This is the weirdest Suns season I have ever followed. The Suns will most likely not have any All-Stars and during preseason were the popular vote to win the lottery.

    There are only five teams with less losses and the Spurs are one of them. I don’t recall so many teams with losing records. They have beaten the team with the best record twice.

    Could this be their year and we simply refuse it?

  • 5 Bill Danforth // Dec 18, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Jeff, as long as Channing Frye is your starting PF, the Suns will always have an excuse for being out-rebounded.

  • 6 Robin Lopez // Dec 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    http://forwardcenter.net/stein-blazers-thrilled-with-lopez-not-seeking-trade-for-asik/

    A dime a dozen? Hardly! Ball don’t lie! I’m the starting center on the best team in basket ball!

  • 7 Robin Lopez // Dec 18, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    There is ONE thing I’m doing very well, WINNING ball games!

  • 8 Sonic // Dec 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    I don’t know if Rockets would agree, but I think Asik for Plumlee or Asik for Plumlee + Indy pick (29-30). It would help us with rebounding. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching Plum-dog play, but you got to trade when the stock is high and Plumlee averege ~9 rbs and he have trouble guarding bigger centers. Rockets at the other end need somebody to block shots when Dwight is out (as well as stretch 4 if they don’t want to use Jones… but that’s a different story)

  • 9 BUTLER // Dec 18, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    NEXT STEP TO THE 2014 NBA FINALS

    JEFF “GOD” HORNACEK AND HIS PHOENIX SUNS

    VS

    BORIS “SECOND HELPING” DIAW AND HIS SA SPURS

    5 HOURS 0 MINS

  • 10 vtsunrise // Dec 18, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Hahaha! Brilliant, Butler! Short and sweet. Thank you.

  • 11 Fan in Chi Town // Dec 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Sonic

    I would like the Suns to get Asik as well. I like Plumlee as well, but Asik is a better all around player. I watched him a lot up here when he was on the Bulls, and his knack for rebounding and defensive I.Q. were impressive. Like you though, I wouldn’t want to give up TOO much for him, but if we are going to try and be the best team we can be this season and not tank, then we need somebody that can bang with Duncan, Aldridge/ Lopez, Ibaka, etc for a seven game series.

  • 12 Foreveris2long // Dec 18, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Robin, Mr. Dime a Dozen, nice of you to drop by. Come around more often in between wins.

  • 13 AL // Dec 18, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    so…14-10. I kid I kid. Phx has a good chance of winning with Parker out. Just don’t give anyone another easy lay up at the end of the 4th quarter if it’s a close game.

  • 14 BUTLER // Dec 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    You’re welcome vt. I think we can accept that Hornacek is not in PHX by coincidence.

  • 15 Melon Man // Dec 18, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Off topic but is the Bill Danforth above the legendary skateboarder?

    On topic, Suns should win this. I prefer not trading Plumlee for Asik. I still think Melo and Love don’t win us a championship and I’m having garlic bread as a side with my dinner. Thanks.

  • 16 JZ // Dec 18, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    I just hope Phoenix tries to do a trade for a PF with either Min or Pistons…or both:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=lbl2vux

  • 17 connnnsky // Dec 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Suns super number one team excellent basketball fun time for you

  • 18 vtsunrise // Dec 18, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Are we talking about a Blues Bros type mission, Butler?

  • 19 vtsunrise // Dec 18, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    So might Hornacek by the Sun of God?

  • 20 SHAZAM // Dec 18, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    round table
    rank top 8 suns in order and why

  • 21 SHAZAM // Dec 18, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    * current suns :)

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