As if they aren’t all big games, the Suns enter the new year with another slate of monster matchups this week with Wednesday’s visit from Kobe Bryant and Co. and a pair of familiar faces from New York making their return to US Airways Center Friday. Yup, it’s the bright lights of Hollywood and Broadway in the form of the Lakers and Knicks.

“They are two teams that are playing well,” Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry said. “One are the world champs, and the other are playing as well as they have in the last six years. it’s a great challenge, but its something where we need to step up the plate and find a way to get it done.”

Phoenix looks to improve on a rough 3-7 record over their last 10 ballgames against a pair of teams that haven’t exactly set the NBA world on fire over that same span — combining for 11 wins total between the two.

“We haven’t fared well against the teams we were supposed to beat,” Grant Hill mused, “so…

“You always get excited to play the Lakers. They are desperate. They lost at home last night to Memphis. Their coach called out some players, so you know they want to come out fast. I can’t predict we’ll play well, but we will be up for it and ready to go. And the same will go for the Knicks when they come to town.”

Friday’s home game vs. New York will be the first of two vs. the Knickerbockers in the span of two weeks. As for opponent No. 1, the Suns have split the season series vs. the Lakers thus far, last knocking off the defending NBA champs on their home floor in mid-November, thanks to a franchise-best 22 three-pointers.

“We had some success the last time we played them out in L.A.,” Gentry said. “We made shots, but we’ll need to get better defensively and rebounding the ball. They can right the ship when the situation presents itself, and we need to step up. Until somebody beats them, they are still the world champs.

“You have to win those home games. Over the last six years, we’ve averaged 31 wins and 10 losses at home. We already have six losses here. Those are games you expect to win to keep pace. It’s crucial for us to start taking care of business at home.”

  • JAS

    It may sound funny but the Lakers better come to play. Why? Because our Suns still have alot of talent and now another big man for Gasol to handle. Plus, the world champs have looked anything but for the last month. Age and wear even Kobe and Co. aren’t immune. I think the Knicks will be harder to handle. Either way our Suns have their hands full. Even after the Kings debacle the other night I’m still not ready to call the #8 spot hopeless. So many bad teams will do that for you.

  • PaulPinewood

    Lakers should be tired after Detroit match&trip so I think we can win – LAL are in bad shape recently. And besides we play at home. All we need is more Suns wins, at least in Arizona. Will it be 3 points shots contest again tommorow?

  • Magic Tickets

    Lakers is a tough team to beat, but Suns is also one of the most dominant team in the NBA, all I can say is this is gonna be a good match.

  • http://sunsblog manuel romero

    The Suns for the most part are through for this year. Alvin Gentry is not the coach to get us there. I like him as a person but he doesn’t posess the decision making skills of a real coach. Evidence of that is the fact that there is enough talant on that team to at least win some games but if your not playing your players right what good does it do. Every time they find something that works, they stop doing it. The only consistent player is Grant Hill to the shame of all the other younger players. Maybe Nash has seen his better days. I see alot of mistake there too lately. What a dissapointment. I still don’t understand why Gortat isn’t starting. Lopez lacks the heart to be a great player. So many times I’ve watched him just stand there and watch somebody else get the rebound that he should’ve gotten. ON top of all this the Suns are shooting the ball very, very poorly. I’ve been a Suns fan for over twenty years and I’ve never been more dissapointed in the coach and front office. I’ve taken to watching Orlando. What else can a fan do? You trade off our lead scorer for a worn out Carter and an underexperienced Gortat. They can have Hedo, he only plays good when and where he wants to. I’ve never seen it this bad. I’m watching and not watching Amare tear up the Suns. Another terrible deal or lack of by the front office. Was it a pride thing? It just doesn’t make sense. So what will you do? throw away this blog so that no one reads it? I’ve lost all hope. How about you?