Welcome to the game where a South African born Canadian of British descent will destroy a Canadian team with only one Canadian on the roster.
Welcome to the game between the ever-hopeful Suns and the tanking Raptors.
The Suns may be on the wrong end of a back-to-back, but I doubt that the Bargnani-less Raptors will be able to do anything without their Big Man Shooting Guar. Even with Dwyane Casey’s defence the Raps are running, they’re below average on that end, and that should hurt them. Do you think Aaron Gray can stop Marcin Gortat?
Neither did I.
What can we expect from the Raps, though?
First off, Jose Calderon is a really good player. I mean, he’s a poor man’s Steve Nash, and I’m sure he’d do some damage with a good pick and roll or pick and pop partner (as he does with the injured Bargnani).
Secondly, the Suns will have to keep their eyes out on the Toronto rising star DeMar DeRozan. One of the silliest names in basketball has a bright future ahead, and while he’s inconsistent this season, he has a tendency to explode into good games. And hell, the Suns have a tendency to light the fuse though for those explosions.
But even if DeRozan is rolling, and Calderon is doing his best Steve Nash impression, I sincerely doubt the Raptors will be able to stop the Suns, if only because of the way Nash and Gortat have been opening things for everyone else. Something just tells me, many of the Suns might nail some open shots in their long awaited homecoming.
In the end, the Suns have not faced a healthy team in 6 games. And that’s a big advantage for them, one that they should capitalize on by evening the injury-series to a solid 3-3 record.
P.S. Leandro Barbosa will come to Phoenix tonight. Let it be noted, that we’ll always love him.