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Posted on November 15, 2009 | 1 Comment
Right now, the 8-2 Phoenix Suns are tied for first place in the league with the upstart Atlanta Hawks. What’s even more amazing is the Phoenix and Atlanta are 2 and 3 in the league in scoring. And right behind them are the Toronto Raptors. In fact, 8 out of the top 10 scoring teams have a record above .500. Maybe Colangelo was onto something after all.
What team has a PG who was born abroad, is one of the top assist men, shoots a high percentage, and is not a great defender, a center who shoots a lot of threes and hits a high percentage, but doesn’t rebound well, a high scoring PF who gets to the line a lot but isn’t known for his defense, and a versatile SF who is getting on in years and previously signed as a free agent with Orlando. Oh, and they recently drafted a physically gifted swingman who is currently averaging less than 20 mpg?
If you said both Toronto and Phoenix, you’d be right. Yes, the Raptors and Suns are very similar in so many ways. The difference, though, is that Steve Nash and Phoenix know how to win with their style. The jury’s still out about the Raptors.
Without a doubt, this has the makings of an incredibly entertaining game. Two of the top scoring teams going head to head. It also may be the biggest nightmare for the Raptors. As I’ve stated, the Raptors seem to do the best against lower scoring teams that don’t shoot well, or much, from outside and aren’t great rebounders. None of that sums up the Phoenix Suns. The Suns are 2nd in scoring, 1st in three pointers made per game, 3rd in field goal percentage, and 9th in rebounding percentage. I’m not overstating it when I say this will easily be the toughest test for the Raptors.
Since the Raptors are going to have a hard time outscoring the Suns, the only way the Raptors are going to win this game is by playing defense.
As I said, neither Bosh, nor Amare are known for their defense, but they are known for their scoring. Amare has certainly not been playing like he has in the past (he’s averaging the lowest PPG and RPG since his rookie season), and he may still not fully recovered from microfracture surgery, or perhaps he hasn’t gotten used to his new goggles. it doesn’t mean you should sleep on him, though. Both players should get up for this, and the fans will enjoy watching.
Since both teams are so even, I don’t know if there are any real mismatches. Bosh will probably end up having a monster game, but it’s certainly not a mismatch.
Channing Frye, for all his weaknesses, does have the ability to guard Bargnani on the perimeter, but Bargnani has shown a weakness, shall we say, with guarding other players on the perimeter. He’s going to have to, or Frye will light it up.
Will this be the highest scoring game so far this season?
While it should be an entertaining game, I don’t see Phoenix losing this one. There are just too many things working against the Raptors here. I’m guessing both teams will score over 120, and I’m going to say Phoenix by 12.
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