Time: The Suns host the Mavs on Friday at 7 p.m. at US Airways Center.
Records: Suns 16-30 (fifth in the Pacific Division) vs. Dallas 19-27 (fourth in the Southwest Division)
PG: Goran Dragic (14.1 points and 6.4 assists) vs. Darren Collison (12.7 points and 5.2 assists)
SG: P.J. Tucker (5.2 points and 3.6 rebounds) vs. O.J. Mayo (17.9 points and 4.3 assists)
SF: Jared Dudley (12.0 points and 3.6 rebounds) vs. Dahntay Jones (3.7 points and 1.4 rebounds)
PF: Luis Scola (13.2 points and 6.3 rebounds) vs. Shawn Marion (10.8 points and 8.3 rebounds)
C: Marcin Gortat: (11.6 points and 9.0 rebounds) vs. Elton Brand (7.5 points and 6.4 rebounds)
With Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki listed as doubtful for tonight with a strained right adductor, the Suns may get an opporunity to nab their first win of the season against Dallas. The Mavs have been the Suns’ nemesis, with Phoenix dropping 10 of its last 11 against them.
Nowitzki did not play in Dallas’ 100-97 loss in Golden State on Thursday.
Beasley on D
Suns Head Coach Lindsey Hunter admired the defensive work that forward Michael Beasley put in against Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki when the two clubs squared off about a week ago. Apparently, it helped Beasley’s confidence too.
At shootaround this morning, Beasley requested the task of guarding the former MVP if he plays. Hunter laughed and said, “You’ll get your chance buddy. Believe me.”
But Hunter admired his forward’s moxie.
“It’s good to see him confident about the defensive end and excited about it,” Hunter said.
From his point of view, Beasley believes that a player like Nowitzki can’t be stopped, only bothered.
“With a guy like Dirk you have to try to just disrupt his rhythm,” Beasley said. “He’s one of those guys that takes tough shots and makes tough shots. You just try to get his body movememnt off a little bit and hopes that he misses the shot.”
Rays of Light
Whether Nowitzki plays or not, the Suns will have a few key advantages over the Mavs. First off, the Mavs allow opponents to rebound better than anyone else in the league against them.
In addition, Dallas has the second-worst defense in the league in terms of surrendering points. Expect the Suns to capitalize on those two weaknesses tonight.