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Charlotte Bobcats vs. Phoenix Suns preview -- Game 13

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The Big Picture: After losing a tough one in Miami last night, the Bobcats are back home to face a drifting Phoenix Suns team. Steve Nash is out tonight with a strained groin muscle (described elsewhere with the horrific phrase "unstable pelvis""... yikes...), so Goran Dragic will get a chance to be a bad bad man. With Robin Lopez also out, the Suns have been reduced to starting Channing Frye and Hedo Turkoglu in the front court and subbing in Earl Barron.

Of course, Hakim Warrick is also on the bench, and his ability and willingness to outrun Boris Diaw frightens me. All that could be rendered moot, though, if Larry Brown decides to leave Nazr Mohammed on the bench in favor of Tyrus Thomas. If he's going to do it against any team, this would be the one, right? Both Frye and Barron want to face up and shoot, so leaving Boris on them instead of Nazr seems the most prudent thing to do.

Musical Interlude: Girl Talk -- "Down for the Count" (cc-licensed)


Key to Victory: The Suns are going to shoot threes. Lots of threes. If the Cats play the way they usually do, they're going to challenge those shots well, but sometimes there's nothing anyone can do. If the Suns' threes fall at the expected rate, or at a lower rate, the Cats will almost certainly win. However, if they shoot especially well from distance, it's going to be a long night, because then they'll have to spread the floor even further by closing out harder on shooters.

Detail That May Interest .08% of You: The Concord, NC, Christmas parade is today, the Saturday before Thanksgiving. I'm told a bull will bring up the end of the parade.