October 31, 2012: Suns tip off regular season vs. Golden State
For the first time in nine years, someone other than Steve Nash will be the Phoenix Suns' starting point guard on Opening Night.
Goran Dragic, after serving as Nash's apprentice for two-and-a-half seasons, will replace the two-time MVP as the Suns usher in a new era Wednesday night against the Golden State Warriors.
"I'm really excited," Dragic said. "First game, I think everyone is going to play 120-percent. I can't wait. I can't wait to start."
Dragic has come full circle, returning to the team that originially acquired him in a draft-day trade in 2008.
"For me," he said, "it's just one thing: play hard every possession, try to lead the team, get the players to the right spot and when I get opportunities push the ball and try to find open guy."
Head coach Alvin Gentry said he would like to see Michael Beasley attack the basket more than he did in the preseason, where he shot six free throws in seven games.
"He's got to get us to the foul line...in the minutes that he's playing," Gentry said. "We're telling him that part of us being a good foul shooting team and being able to shoot fouls is that he's got to be one of the guys that helps us get to the bonus."
Gentry offered up three keys against the Warriors: transition defense, screen-and-roll defense, "and then we've got to manage our turnovers because turning the ball over against them is really death."
Suns have won 7 of 9 against the Warriors and 11 of 14 overall
Suns are 8-0 all-time against the Warriors in home openers
Suns are 5-7 when playing on October 31