Just a few short weeks ago, it seemed as though this day would have never taken place, but tomorrow night will be the Suns’ first preseason game of the 2011-2012 season. The Suns will first face the Nuggets from Denver and then again on Wednesday night from US Airways Center.
Denver returns pretty much their entire roster from last season. The only crucial member that they lost was J.R. Smith, who remains in China because of a contract issue that keeps him playing there for the next couple of months. The same thing is the case with former Suns point guard Aaron Brooks.
The big move that the Nuggets made during the shorten offseason was bringing back center Nene. Early in the process, it appeared that the Brazilian was going to play elsewhere, but he decided to remain in the Mile High City on a five-year, $67 million deal. Nene remains the face of the franchise.
Besides Nene, Denver has a enough quality roster to be one of the five or six best teams in a wide open Western Conference this year.
Ty Lawson and veteran Andre Miller make for one of the best 1-2 point combinations in the league. Rudy Fernandez has a ton of upside and could finally live up to his potential with an increase in playing time, Danilo Gallinari is said to have had a brilliant camp and the Nuggets staff is high on rookie Kenneth Faried, who was a rebounding machine in college.
For the Suns, the final score in this game won’t matter. After all it is just a preseason game, but Phoenix playing well and avoiding injuries will be important. The Suns have had two team scrimmages, but this will be the first time since all the way back in April where they have played against another NBA team.
Look for an ugly game from these two teams. Phoenix and Denver have played together for less than two weeks in practice and it takes a lot longer than that to shake off the rust and gain chemistry with each other.
Lucky for both squads, the majority of their rosters are the same as last year, which should bode well for the Suns and Nuggets to start off the season.