Courtside Notes: Frye and Hill Still Questionable
Posted: April 24, 2012
The Suns went through their customary shootaround before their 7:30 p.m. tip-off at Energy Solutions Arena later tonight. But there was a one noticeable absence.
Suns power forward Channing Frye, who suffered a subluxed right shoulder against the Nuggets on Saturday, had yet to arrive in Utah for the game tonight. Although his shoulder is so much of a concern that it gives him just a “slim chance” of playing, he is arriving late to Utah because he was in Phoenix to witness the birth of his baby daughter last night.
Grant Hill, on the other hand, said he felt as good about his right knee as he has in 10 days. After coming back quickly from surgery on the meniscus in his knee, Hill said that his recovery suffered a blow when he re-tweaked it during the Suns’ game in San Antonio on April 14.
He is still listed as a game-time decision, but he’s as optimistic as he’s been recently.
One injury that might actually help the Suns’ chances tonight is the one that occurred to Utah’s C.J. Miles. Miles is currently out with a left gastroc muscle strain.
The last time the two clubs met, Miles went off for 22 points. However, in that game, the Jazz were playing without point guard Devin Harris, who was sidelined with an injured left ankle.
Harris will be back tonight and has been hot recently, posting 21 points and seven assists against the Magic on Saturday.
“He is a really good player and is playing great now,” Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry. “Just getting him back and being the focal point of their offense has been good. And Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson are playing well too.”
Although the Suns have won seven straight over Utah, Gentry said that you can throw all of that out the window tonight.
“At the end of the day this is going to be the game that counts,” Gentry said. “So it doesn’t matter if we have beaten them 10 times or if they have beaten us 10 times. Both teams have played really good basketball, and if you go back and look, most of those games were really close and it came down to a possession here or a possession there.”
But Gentry is also aware of a late-season meeting in Utah that worked out in the Suns favor in 2010.
“We did it a few years back which took us from sixth place to third place,” Gentry recalled. “We’ve already had success up there once this year, so obviously it’s not going to be anything easy to do. But if we play at our highest level, we’ll give ourselves an opportunity to win.”
The fact that the entire season boils down tonight seems to have a positive effect on the team’s psyche.
“We have a great opportunity to control our own destiny,” Suns point guard Steve Nash said. “It’s exciting to have the chance to go play in a big game.
“They have great fans, it’s a great atmosphere and it’ll be a tough place to get a win but that’s what makes it exciting. That’s when it’s the most fun.”
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