PHOENIX, AZ - Utah Jazz (0-1) vs. Phoenix Suns (1-0)
Game #2 of 82
Surprisingly, the Phoenix Suns got off to a 1-0 start this season with a 104-91 win over the Portland Trailblazers. I say surprisingly because the Suns came in #29 in the pre-season NBA power rankings.
What’s not surprising about the win is that the Suns can run with anyone and thankfully the Jeff Hornacek era started against Portland, a team that doesn’t run very well.
In game two, the Suns will host the team that showed up in 27th place in the pre-season power rankings, the Utah Jazz. What makes this game interesting is that it’s the place Hornacek spent so much time as a part time and then full time assistant coach after playing for the Jazz from 1994 to 2000.
Hornacek spent six and a half seasons playing alongside John Stockton and Karl Malone for a Jazz team that reached two NBA finals. He retired in 2000 as the top 3-point shooter in team history (42.8 percent) and later had his number 14 jersey retired.
After some time away from the NBA, Hornacek returned to the Jazz in 2007 as a shooting coach before joining the bench in 2010 as an assistant under Tyrone Corbin.
Corbin starts the season thin at point guard with rookie Trey Burke out at least two months with an injured finger, while Hornacek has two good ones in the starting line-up.
Eric Bledsoe with Goran Dragic worked very well together in game one. Dragic and Bledsoe combined for 48 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds in a 104-91 win over Portland on Wednesday.
"We always thought that was an advantage, having those two guys," Hornacek said. "One guy is not going, we put the other guy in the pick and roll."
The Utah starting backcourt isn’t quite as good as the Suns. John Lucas III is filling in for Burke, playing alongside Gordon Hayward. Each player finished game one with five assists, but shot a combined 6 for 20.
The surprise for Suns fans, was former Duke star Miles Plumlee who came through with 18 points and 15 rebounds in his first NBA start.
"All I can ask for is the opportunity to start every day," Plumlee said, "and when that opportunity comes you have to take it."
Game two for the Suns looks like a win, especially at home, and that would leave the Suns 2-0 to start the season. Particularly impressive when the odds makers in Las Vegas had the Suns finishing with less than 25 wins all season. Two games into the 2013-2014 season and the Suns could be tied for first place in the Western Conference! Let’s enjoy it (if it happens) while we can!
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