When the Denver Nuggets (5-4) tip off against the Phoenix Suns (5-4) tonight, the road team will look to win its first game in Phoenix for the first time since April 7, 2004. Nuggets head coach George Karl hasn't won in Phoenix since 1997--when he was the head coach of the Seattle SuperSonics. The Nuggets are coming off a victory against the Los Angeles Lakers that sent the then-undefeated team to its first loss. But so are the Phoenix Suns. In the Lakers' next game, the Suns upended them, 121-116.
As usual, the Nuggets will have Carmelo Anthony and his 25.0 points per game leading the charge, while Chauncey Billups will continue to dish the ball out to his teammates (4.3 a game). The Phoenix Suns will counter with Jason Richardson's 22.3 points per game and, as always, the entertaining Steve Nash, who averages just under a double-double with 20 points and 9.9 assists per game.
Suns fans are concerned that the team hasn't rebounded enough, but after the victory over the Lakers things seems to be a bit better. However, as Bright Side of the Sun points out, the Suns need to do more than rebound well:
Rebounding half their own misses won't be enough. They have to rebound/putback most of their misses AND make lots of shots AND guard the perimeter AND guard the fast break AND stop Warrick from being Amare-lite AND cover the backdoor cuts AND stop the 2-headed bizzaro-world monster known as the PG combo of Nash and Dragic.
Denver Stiffs believes Gary Forbes and Al Harrington will play a huge role in this game
This match-up is the start of a four-game schedule this week for the Nuggets, so the Nuggets will want to get off to a good start.