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Ending the year on a high note? Pistons @ Suns

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Phoenix Suns: 13-17 (7-7 Home)

Detroit Pistons: 11-21 (3-13)

Injury Update: Rodney Stuckey is out yet again. T-Mac will presumably start in his place.

Oppo Research:

You mean when a star center leaves for another team, the old team gets worse and the new team gets better? Apparently so. This, of course, will require us to re-evaluate our approach to the sport.

What's odd is that the Suns are improved offensively (second only to San Antonio in offensive efficiency, which is even weirder), and much worse defensively. The addition of Marcin Gortat has yet to help matters, as the Suns gave up 123 points to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, including 23 points from Evan Turner who otherwise has been useless.

Steve Nash, on the other hand, is threatening his career high in player efficiency rating, in spite of uncharacteristically poor three point shooting, and continues to dominate on the offensive end. He's in a good position to pass Isiah Thomas for sixth place on the all-time career assists list this season.

Other than that, it's been pretty ugly. Josh Childress has had a hard time earning minutes, and seems to be out of the rotation even though he's shooting well. Vince Carter has the ability to help on both ends of the court, but will he be motivated while playing for a sub .500 team that will be lucky to compete for an eight seed?

Keys to the Game:

More of the new guys: And by new guys, I mean Chris Wilcox and T-Mac. The latter, in particular, has been consistently solid on at least two days rest.

Keep up in transition: The Suns can put up points in a hurry, and the Pistons don't have the shooters to match them shot for shot. If Steve Nash is dictating the pace, Detroit's in trouble, especially with T-Mac at the point.

More ball movement: One of the keys to the Pistons' offensive improvement, if not the key, has been finding open shots. The old regime of Stuckey/Bynum dribbling into a wall of defenders should be officially retired.

Question of the game:

What is there to do for New Year's in Phoenix. Charlie V. would like to know, per Twitter.

Look at the Bright Side

Bright Side Of The Sun