And when the dust from the trade deadline explosion settled, there were still games to be played.
Tonight, the Phoenix Suns play the first of six games in Toronto on an 11-day road trip. With a win, the Suns can improve to two games over .500 for the first time this season. They will be doing so without backup point guard Goran Dragic, though.
Dragic and a draft pick were sent to the Houston Rockets for Aaron Brooks, so Zabian Dowdell looks set to get some time tonight against the Raptors. He hasn’t played much lately with Dragic returning from injury, but Nash, unfortunately, can’t play all 48 minutes.
So Dowdell had better be ready tonight in Toronto.
Despite their 16-42 record, the Raptors are a good team as evidenced by their win Wednesday against the Bulls.
Toronto is lead by center Andrea Bargnani and high-flyer DeMar DeRozen who both had 24 points in Wednesday’s game. Former Sun, Leandro Barbosa chipped in with 13 points off the bench.
Not that the Suns should need any reminders not to overlook teams, but Wednesday proved the Raptors can get a "W" against anyone. With that being said, if the Suns play to the best of their abilities, they should start this road trip with a win.
Channing Frye has been playing very well of late, and looks to extend his hot scoring streak with 4 straight 20-point games. Along with Frye continuing to play well, the Suns need Vince Carter to break out of his slump. Perhaps returning to the city where he won the dunk competition will reignite "Air Canada" because lately he’s been "Bench Phoenix".
While he’s been out of sorts, Mickael Pietrus and Jared Dudley have taken turns picking up the slack. That’s great and what you ask of reserves, but at its core, basketball is a team game, so everyone who steps on the court needs to contribute—especially starters (looking at you Robin Lopez).
As far as the game itself, it looks to be a high scoring affair. To the Suns’ credit, they’ve been playing better defense of late, but on the season, they’re giving up 105.3 points per game. Toronto’s season average of 104.8 isn’t much better, so the fans that come out tonight in Toronto should be in for an exciting game.
Because it’s an East coast trip, the game tips at 5PM locally and can be seen on My 45.