Originally posted on Buzz On Broad  |  Last updated 12/28/11

The Philadelphia 76ers opening five game road trip makes its second stop in the Valley of the Sun where they will attempt to record their first victory of the season against the Phoenix Suns. Both teams are 0-1 after suffering heartbreaking losses in their season openers.

If not for their 20 turnovers, the Sixers more than likely would have won their game over Portland, whereas Phoenix had a legitimate chance to defeat New Orleans, however rookie Markieff Morris threw the ball away on the final inbound pass. Both teams made their fair share of mistakes throughout the game and both are hoping to fine-tune themselves in their second game of the season. 

Philadelphia's Spencer Hawes and Phoenix's Robin Lopez each played surprisingly well in their team's openers. Hawes fell just one assist shy of recording a triple double, while Lopez recorded a team-high 21 points and seven rebounds. Their respective teams will be relying on them to keep up that level of play as the season progresses and as both individuals try to prove themselves as legitimate NBA centers, which was discussed in the Associated Press' game preview. 

A key factor in this game will be whether or not the 76ers' bench can continue to be a major contributor. In their first game, the combination of Lou Williams, Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner combined for all 45 of the team's bench points, nearly 50% of the team's scoring. The Suns' bench was led by Lopez's 21 points, totaling 39 points all together. 

When these two teams meet, the scoring tends to come at a high. Philadelphia scored a season-high 123 points (not including OT games) in their win over Phoenix last season. In that game, Turner racked up 23 points and finished with a team-high +14. 

Player to Watch: PG Jrue Holliday

Much of the offseason was spent praising the development of Holliday, yet he failed to shine on the floor on opening night. He scored 13 points and tallied only two assists. But more importantly, he made poor decisions when passing, turning the ball over a game-high six times.

However, it is just one game and with the lockout shortening much of the offseason, there is some understanding for miscommunication between players early on. It's important, though, that Holliday has a bounce back game tonight against Phoenix and their perennial All-Star point guard, Steve Nash. 

Opponent to Watch: Marcin Gortat

The Sixers, who were unable to contain Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge in the opener, will have to face another big man who can consistently make mid-range shots in addition to posting up down low. However, he is no where near the caliber of Aldridge and he doesn't have the skills of Aldridge with his back to the basket. 

The Polish native compiled 13 points on 6-9 shooting and five rebounds. He did all of this while playing with a broken thumb, as well. 

Be sure to follow Kyle on Twitter @Kyle_Phillippi and check back after the game for a postgame recap!

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