This will be a great matchup to watch on the court as these teams have contrasting styles of play. The Suns love to get up and down the court, while the Spurs prefer to take their time on offense while playing great defense. Here’s a closer look at the matchups in this series:
POINT GUARD: It’s Steve Nash and his MVP trophies against Tony Parker and his World Championship rings! Steve Nash is the best pure point guard in the NBA right now. Steve Nash is the guy that makes the Suns go. Without him they probably are a #8 seed team if they even make the playoffs. Nash averaged 16.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 14.0 assists per game against the Lakers in round #1. Tony Parker is a super-fast player with the ball in his hands and he’s an excellent outside shooter just like Nash is. Parker averaged 18.2 points, 3.2 assists, 6.8 assists and 1.0 steals per game against the Nuggets in round #1. EDGE: EVEN
SHOOTING GUARD: Michael Finley looks like he has drank from the Fountain of Youth after the first round that he had against the Nuggets. Finley averaged 16.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game in the 1st round. Finley also shot 52.8% from the three-point line and the Suns must respect his outside stroke. Raja Bell had a tough opening series against the Lakers but that sometimes happens when you’re chasing Kobe Bryant around. Bell only averaged 7.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game against the Lakers. Bell also only shot 39.4% from the floor and that will need to improve if the Suns are going to beat the Spurs in this series. EDGE: EVEN
SMALL FORWARD: Bruce Bowen is the defensive stopper for the Spurs and he has a nice three-point stroke. Bowen averaged 6.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game in round #1 against the Nuggets. James Jones will be the starter for the Suns. He only averaged 19 minutes on the court against the Lakers and he averaged 7.0 points and 1.8 rebounds per game. EDGE: SPURS
POWER FORWARD: Tim Duncan vs. Shawn Marion. That sounds like a heavyweight fight. Duncan always steps up when the games get big and that’s exactly what every game in this series will be. Duncan averaged 20.2 points, 10.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.8 blocks per game against the Nuggets in round #1. He will probably easily will be able to get numbers like that against the Suns in this series. Shawn Marion is a high-flying stat sheet stuffer! He averaged 18.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game against the Lakers. Look for Marion to get help from Stoudemire on defense against Duncan. EDGE: SPURS
CENTER: Amare Stoudemire has been dominating so far in the playoffs. He averaged 24.2 points, 13.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.8 blocks per game against the Lakers. He should be able to dominate the centers of the Spurs. Francisco Elson will be the starter for the Spurs, but he usually doesn’t stay in the game really long. He only averaged 14.0 minutes per game against the Nuggets and he averaged 3.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. EDGE: SUNS
BENCH: The Suns bench only goes three men deep, but they are all good ones. Leandro Barbosa was the 6th Man of the Year in the NBA this season. He averaged 32 minutes per game against the Lakers in round #1 and he averaged 21.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game. He should be able to get his points against the Spurs in this series. Boris Diaw can play any position on the basketball court and that gives the Suns versatility. In 26 minutes per game in the first round, Diaw averaged 7.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Kurt Thomas backs up the big guys in the paint. He only averaged 11.0 minutes per game against the Lakers and he averaged 5.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game in that series.
The Spurs have a really deep, veteran bench. Manu Ginobili is one of the best 6th men in the NBA. He had an off series against the Nuggets as he only hit 33.9% from the floor. But, he still averaged 13.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game against the Nuggets. Look for him to play much better against the soft Suns defense. Robert Horry is Mr. Playoffs. Horry was outstanding against the Nuggets in the first round as he averaged 7.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.4 blocks per game. He also shot 50% from the floor as he was very clutch. Francisco Oberto had a solid first round of the playoffs as he averaged 5.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in only 19 minutes per game. Jacque Vaughn averaged 10 minutes per game in round #1 and he scored 2.4 points and grabbed 1.4 assists per game. Brent Barry was off in round one as he only hit 27.3% from the floor and 1.8 points per game. EDGE: EVEN
PREDICTION: The Spurs will slow this series down a little bit and their big game players will step up. The Suns will play them tough, but the Spurs will win this series in either 6 or 7 games.