3 Things to Look for in the Season Opener for the Phoenix Suns

Roberto PayneContributor IOctober 31, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 12:  Goran Dragic #1 of the Phoenix Suns high fives Luis Scola #14 during introductions before the preseason NBA game against the Portland Trail Blazers at US Airways Center on October 12, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Suns defeated the Trail Blazers 104-93. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns open the season at home tonight against the Golden State Warriors in what is the first game of the post-Nash era.

The team is almost entirely new with only four players on the active roster remaining from last season and the team is looking to take the first step in the right direction against the Warriors.

In this first game, there should be a couple topics to look forward to and follow through out such as:


Michael Beasley's Performance

Michael Beasley was brought over to, hopefully, regain the promise he showed coming out of Kansas State and Phoenix is the perfect place to do so.

The offense is wide-open and will allow Beasley to freely operate on the offensive end, rather than the restrictive offense he was in as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

That freedom will be key as Beasley can use his many offensive skills to lead the Suns in scoring.

Against the Warriors, Beasley will go against rookie Harrison Barnes and should use his experience to take advantage of the talented Barnes.


Defensive Production

Defense has long been an afterthought in the desert, but this year's squad should look to change that.

There hasn't been a Phoenix team in the past decade with as many physical low post defenders as there are now and coach Alvin Gentry should look to capitalize on that.

Marcin Gortat and Jermaine O'Neal anchor that defense in the paint and will be extremely important against David Lee and, potentially, Andrew Bogut.

One key for post defenders is to stay out of foul trouble, something that plagued Gortat at times.

On the perimeter, Jared Dudley, Wesley Johnson and Goran Dragic are probably the best wing defenders and will be counted on to stop Klay Thompson and Steph Curry.

It's no easy task keeping Curry and Thompson from draining shots but Dragic is quick enough to stay in front of Curry.

For the Suns sake, they better focus on the defensive end just in case the offensive side doesn't start out too hot.



With six new guys expected to get a considerable amount of  minutes and three of those guys in the starting lineup, chemistry could be an issue among players not used to each other.

A lack of chemistry can doom a team from the opening tip-off and this Phoenix team has to avoid that or else the season will be lost.

Luckily for the team, newcomers Goran Dragic and Luis Scola have played together as have Michael Beasley and Wesley Johnson.

Of these four, it's huge for Dragic to develop chemistry will everyone on the team because he's the point guard and will control who gets the shots.

This will be an immediate test of Dragic's mental toughness and if he has grown up in his year or so away from the Suns.