Found April 14, 2012 on Project Spurs:
Nash_small

After going 1-1 during the week against the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies, the San Antonio Spurs (41-16) prepare for their last home game of the week before heading to the west coast for a three-game road trip in three consecutive nights.SN

The Spurs are hosting the Phoenix Suns, who are currently right outside of the playoff picture in the Western Conference, as they are placed one game behind both the Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets.

The Suns are coming into San Antonio off a win in Houston on Friday, as the Suns are 6-4 in their last 10 games, though 14-17 on the road this season. The Spurs have won both meetings this season against Phoenix, and in both wins, the Spurs have scored over 100 points.

Case No. 58: Phoenix Suns (31-28)

The Kings

  • Steve Nash – 12.8 points, 11.1 assists, 9.2 FGA (54%), 2.4 3PT (40%)
  • Marcin Gortat – 15.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 11.7 FGA (57%), 4 FTA (65%)

The Knights

  • Jared Dudley – 12.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 9.8 FGA (48%), 3.2 3PT (37%)
  • Grant Hill – 10.7 points, 9.5 FGA (45%)
  • Channing Frye – 10.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 9.8 FGA (41%), 4.2 3PT (34%)
  • Shannon Brown - 10.6 points, 9.8 FGA (42%), 3 x 3PT (35%)

The Bishop

Michael Redd – 8 points, 6.8 FGA (41%), 2.7 3PT (30%)

The Pawn

Markieff Morris – 7.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 6.9 FGA (41%), 2 x 3PT (37%)

Offense vs. Offense

1. Points: Spurs (101.8) – Suns (98.1) = Spurs

2. Assists: Spurs (22.6) – Suns (22.7) = Suns

3. Shooting percentage: Spurs (47.1%) – Suns (45.8%) = Spurs

4. Three point shooting percentage: Spurs (39%) – Suns (34%) = Spurs

5. Turnovers: Spurs (12.9) – Suns (13.5) = Spurs

Offensive Leader: Spurs 4-1

Defense vs. Defense

1. Opponent scoring: Spurs (96.4) – Suns (97.8) = Spurs

2. Opponent shooting: Spurs (45%) – Suns (45%) = Tie

3. Rebounds: Spurs (42.5) – Suns (41.5) = SpursMG

4. Personal Fouls: Spurs (17.3) – Suns (18.6) = Spurs

Defensive Leader: Spurs 3-0, one tie

Game Expectation

In the Spurs’ two wins against the Suns, the obvious issue that can be seen is defending the pick-and-roll when Nash and Gortat are running their sets. The Spurs haven’t done too well in limiting both players, and then throw in the fact that Brown scored 32-points in the last meeting, and the Spurs will have their work cut out for them.

The Spurs must also keep in mind that the Suns recently beat the Lakers without Kobe Bryant by 20-points last weekend. But the Suns lost to the Grizzlies on Wednesday, so either way, this Phoenix team has the capability to beat anyone on any given night if their shots start falling.

The Suns will see a new Spurs team as Stephen Jackson didn’t play in the last game, but the Spurs are expected to have their full squad in uniform tonight. The Suns’ bench isn’t as deep as San Antonio’s, so it’ll be interesting to see how long the Suns can keep pace with the Spurs’ depth.

The Spurs must continue to do what they did on Thursday when they defeated the Grizzlies: play with focus and energy, limit their turnovers, share the ball, and play team defense. Defense will be especially be important when Gortat and Nash are out on the floor running the pick-and-roll.

The Spurs could also be looking at new situational lineups as Boris Diaw started the second half on Thursday, and head coach Gregg Popovich told me after the game that he wants Diaw to get more minutes to get more acclimated with the system.

As good as the Suns have been lately, I just don’t think they have depth to stay with the Spurs, but this Suns team can put up 100-plus points consistently, so the Spurs must also be on their toes tonight.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Gortat, Nash lead Suns to key win in Houston

HOUSTON (AP) -- Marcin Gortat had 20 points and 15 rebounds, Steve Nash had 18 points and 10 assists and the Phoenix Suns boosted their playoff hopes with a 112-105 win over the Houston Rockets on Friday night. Jared Dudley scored 19 points, Michael Redd added 13 and Sebastian Telfair had 12 for the Suns, who moved into the ninth spot in the Western Conference. Phoenix also moved...

Suns 112, Rockets 105

Marcin Gortat had 20 points and 15 rebounds, Steve Nash had 18 points and 10 assists and the Phoenix Suns boosted their playoff hopes with a 112-105 win over the Houston Rockets on Friday night. Jared Dudley scored 19 points, Michael Redd added 13 and Sebastian Telfair had 12 for the Suns, who moved into the ninth spot in the Western Conference. Phoenix also moved within one game...

Suns' Gortat looks forward to matchup with Duncan

Two nights after having one of his best games of the season against a formidable front line, Spurs forward Tim Duncan has another challenge tonight in Suns center Marcin Gortat. Gortat, who is having a career year, averaging 15.9 points and 9.9 rebounds per game for the Suns, is not surprised at Duncan's play of late, including his 28 point outing against the Memphis Grizzlies...

Spurs knock out Suns with quick start

“We got knocked out of the box right from the start.” These words came from Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry after the Suns were defeated 105-91 in San Antonio on Saturday evening. “They took us out of the game early,” continued Gentry. The Spurs used a 21-4 start to jump on the Suns with a fast paced initiative on offense, along with team defense to take a 35-13 lead...

Suns tip off crucial homestand against Blazers

The Phoenix Suns hope a day off to recover mentally and physically - as well as a return home - can kickstart one final push for the playoffs. The Suns are coming off probably their worst performance of an otherwise solid run since the All-Star break, but their aging veterans could be back near full strength Monday night for a matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers. Phoenix (31...

Trail Blazers-Suns Preview

The Phoenix Suns hope a day off to recover mentally and physically - as well as a return home - can kickstart one final push for the playoffs. The Suns are coming off probably their worst performance of an otherwise solid run since the All-Star break, but their aging veterans could be back near full strength Monday night for a matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers. Phoenix (31...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.