What did the Suns do over the summer?
It was widely thought that the Suns were still in rebuilding mode and playing for the 2014 draft. They have a new head coach in Jeff Hornacek. They made NO free agent signings, either their own or on the open market. Instead, they let all their free agents walk and made their moves with trades instead. The biggest one, obviously, was the trade to acquire Eric Bledsoe from the Clippers to start alongside Goran Dragic (sending Jared Dudley to the Clips in the process). They also acquired some role players in Gerald Green and Miles Plumlee who, as we'll see when we talk with Bright Side of the Sun later today, have been nicer than expected additions.
What have the Suns done lately?
So, about this being a rebuilding year...just kidding? The Suns have started the season hot (no pun intended) with a record of 15-10. Not all that dissimilar from the 15-11 Mavs, but more unexpected. They've beaten the Warriors and Rockets, same as the Mavs have, and beat Denver last night in Denver on the first night of a back-to-back. The Suns haven't been as strong on the second nights of back-to-backs this season while the Mavs have, so there's something going for the good guys maybe.
Which Mavericks player is due for a big game?
After an overtime loss at home last night where Dirk played 41 minutes (inlcuding the last straight 18+), the Mavs may have to look to the bench to pick up the pace. Expect Brandan Wright to get a little more burn than usual, and the rookies will need to bring their A game as well to keep up with a Suns team that loves to run.
What's the biggest matchup to watch?
The benches. On the second night of a back-to-back for both teams, I'd wager neither team will rely on their starters quite as much, making bench play important. As noted above, Brandan Wright needs to keep being great, and it would be nice if Vince brought something a little extra as well.
Stay tuned later today for a Q&A with Bright Side of the Sun!