The San Antonio Spurs will play the Phoenix Suns for the second straight game on Wednesday night in one of those awkward situations in which the two teams played in Arizona on Sunday and will now play in Texas in what is basally a stretched out two-game series, although the Suns had one other game in between. However, the games mark the end and beginning of two different chapters of the Spurs’ season, which will likely include a third straight No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
Spurs point guard Tony Parker was out of the game Sunday with a bruise on his shooting arm, but he expects to play in the rematch. Gary Neal also missed the first contest in Phoenix and he’s still questionable for the second game in San Antonio. The Spurs did fine without both players, easily topping the Suns in the final of their nine-game road trip, in which they finished 7-2. Now after being on the road for two weeks, the Spurs will play 13 of their next 15 games at home with most of those including sub-.500 teams like the Suns, so if Parker, Neal and/or anyone else needs to miss time (looking at you, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili), it won’t be a problem.
As for Wednesday night’s game against Phoenix, it should be more of the same. Nothing different should be expected, except maybe a larger margin of victory since the game is in San Antonio, especially if Parker plays. Marcin Gortat was the only bright spot for the Suns in Sunday’s matchup (he’s been their only bright spot all season) and then carried Phoenix to a road win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday. “Slowing” him down will be the only real focus for the Spurs in this particular game.
Gortat and fellow Suns big man Jermaine O’Neal each had a few easy slams on bad defensive rotations by the Spurs on Sunday, so that will likely be a point of focus for San Antonio as well. When opposing post players set pics in the paint, they’ve gotten easy buckets all year, so that is easily the Spurs’ biggest weakness on the defensive end. If there’s anything they can work on in this game, it will be that.
As mentioned, this game shouldn’t be too exciting and nothing should be taken from it. The Spurs should cruise at home and pretty much everyone would be surprised if anything different happened.