Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers Preview

Steve Nash

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since the offseason sign-and-trade, the Phoenix Suns will face off against former point guard Steve Nash and his new team, the Los Angeles Lakers.

Nash missed the first matchup between the two teams earlier in the season while nursing a fracture in his left leg. With his health intact this time around, the 16-year veteran will be looking to run circles around the team that brought him into the league back in 1996.

Despite this bittersweet reunion, don’t expect the Lakers to concede an inch as they hope to start their seven-game road trip off on a positive note. They’re currently riding a three-game winning streak and are looking to pick up momentum as they inch closer to being back in the playoff picture.

Meanwhile, the 15-30 Suns are just looking to shed some light on the sea of darkness that has been their 2012-13 season. Currently sitting at the bottom of the Pacific Division standings, Phoenix has only won three of its last ten games as the team continues to flounder through the middle of its schedule. Their 11-11 home record and the Lakers’ 5-15 away record gives them reason to believe that they can pull off the upset at US Airways Center.

If the Suns have any hopes of coming away with a W tonight, they’ll need to step up their defensive play against a suddenly-electric Lakers offense. Last night against the New Orleans Hornets, six L.A. players scored in double digits, including center Dwight Howard, who amassed 24 on the night.

They’ll also have to find a way to slow down Kobe Bryant, who has emerged as a facilitator for the Lakers. In his past three games, Bryant has broken the 10-assist barrier, which is believed to be a significant factor in L.A.’s sudden success.

Interim head coach Lindsey Hunter will have his hands full against a hot Lakers team that’s looking to turn their 2012-2013 campaign around in a big hurry. If the Suns can get some early production from point guard Goran Dragic and get center Marcin Gortat to slow down former teammate Howard, they could have a chance against the inconsistent Lakers.

As longs as the Suns keep within striking distance, there’s always a chance against the Lakers.

Gil Alcaraz IV is a Network Manager/NFL featured columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

Around the Web