Tuesday , May , 08 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Phoenix Suns Will Start Kurt Thomas For Game Two

The Phoenix Suns will start Kurt Thomas for game two of their Western Conference playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs. This change is interesting. Yes, Thomas can defend Tim Duncan. But he’s also a slower player. Will the change help or hurt the Suns? Read on for more analysis …

{{What Happened:}} The NBA’s fastest team will get a little slower for their next playoff game.

The Phoenix Suns will remove guard James Jones from the starting line-up and replace him with forward/center Kurt Thomas for the second game in their Western Conference playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs.

Following game one, Suns coach Mike D’Antoni hinted that changes would be coming, but refused to say what he had in mind.

However, forward Amare Stoudemire broke the news to reporters. “I think we’re going to start Kurt Thomas, “he mentioned.

Thomas will provide Phoenix’s starting unit with a big body to match-up against San Antonio’s Tim Duncan. Stoudemire struggled to defend Duncan in game one, getting into early foul trouble and shooting a disappointing 6-for-19 on offense.

The Suns acquired Thomas in a 2005 trade with New York for his defensive intensity.

{{My Take:}} I think this move is interesting. When the Suns struggled this season, they always changed their team, going with smaller and faster players. For example, during an end-of-season losing streak, Phoenix temporarily moved Leandro Barbosa into the starting line-up to provide energy.

Whenever adversity hit, the Suns answered the critics by adding quickness to the starting line-up.

But after losing game one against San Antonio, they decided to go against their small-ball identity and move Thomas into the starting unit. Thomas has been a starter before. He’s also a great defensive player. And this move should free-up Stoudemire.

But will the Suns get out of rhythm by changing their starting unit and going against their run-and-gun nature?

We’ll find out tonight when game two goes in Phoenix. San Antonio leads the series 1-0.

Oly Sandor is hoopsvibe’s NBA analyst. Come back to hoopsvibe.com for more of his work.