For the first time in nearly three decades, the Phoenix Suns will open the season without an All-Star caliber point guard on their roster. Instead of opening the 2012-2013 season with the likes of Steve Nash, Stephon Marbury, Jason Kidd or Kevin Johnson, the Suns will have Goran Dragic running the show when they open the season against the Golden State Warriors on Halloween Night.
Dragic, who has started a total of 36 games in his career, is a fifth-year point guard without a single NBA honor on his resume. In 28 starts with the Houston Rockets last season, Dragic posted solid numbers of 18.0 points and 8.4 assists per game. The Suns will need the 26 year-old to duplicate that type of production and provide some leadership for them to have any type of success this season.
The Suns will also need to get substantial production and leadership from starting big men Marcin Gortat and Luis Scola. Phoenix's international trio will carry much of the burden for the Suns this season. But unless Dragic, Gortat and Scola get real and consistent support from the likes of Michael Beasley, Jared Dudley, Shannon Brown and Wesley Johnson it will be a long, long season for the Phoenix Suns and their fans.
Here are game-by-game predictions for the 2012-2013 Phoenix Suns:
Game 1, Wednesday, October 31 versus Golden State Warriors- Suns open their season with a Halloween night loss to the Warriors (Record 0-1).
Game 2, Friday, November 2 versus Detroit Pistons- Suns rebound with a home win over the Pistons at the US Airways Center (Record 1-1).
Game 3, Sunday, November 4 at Orlando Magic- Suns drop a road game to the Magic in the first half of a back-to-back (Record 1-2).
Game 4, Monday, November 5 at Miami Heat- Suns lose to the Heat for the fifth consecutive time (Record 1-3).
Game 5, Wednesday, November 7 at Charlotte Bobcats- Suns play for the third time in four nights and drop a road game to the Bobcats (Record 1-4).
Game 6, Friday, November 9 versus Cleveland Cavaliers- Suns get a home win over Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers (Record 2-4).
Game 7, Saturday, November 10 at Utah Jazz- Suns fall to the Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena in the second half of a back-to-back (Record 2-5).
Game 8, Monday, November 12 versus Denver Nuggets- Suns open a brief two-game homestand with a victory over the Nuggets (Record 3-5).
Game 9, Wednesday, November 14 versus Chicago Bulls- Suns lose a close game to the Derrick Rose-less Bulls (Record 3-6).
Game 10, Friday, November 16 at Los Angeles Lakers- Suns drop a road game to Steve Nash and the Lakers (Record 3-7).
Game 11, Saturday, November 17 versus Miami Heat- Suns open a three-game homestand with a loss to LeBron James and the Heat (Record 3-8).
Game 12, Wednesday, November 21 versus Portland Trail Blazers- Suns get a victory over the visiting Trail Blazers (Record 4-8).
Game 13, Friday, November 23 versus New Orleans Hornets- Suns defeat Eric Gordon and the Hornets (Record 5-8).
Game 14, Sunday, November 25 at Philadelphia 76ers- Suns fall to Andrew Bynum and the 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center (Record 5-9).
Game 15, Tuesday, November 27 at Cleveland Cavaliers- Suns get a road win over the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena (Record 6-9).
Game 16, Wednesday, November 28 at Detroit Pistons- Suns play their third road game in four nights and fall to the Pistons at the Palace (Record 6-10).
Game 17, Friday, November 30 at Toronto Raptors- Suns lose to the Raptors at the Air Canada Centre for the first time since January 4, 2004 (Record 6-11).
Game 18, Sunday, December 2 at New York Knicks- Suns fall to Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks at Madison Square Garden (Record 6-12).
Game 19, Tuesday, December 4 at Memphis Grizzlies- Suns close a disappointing 1-5 road trip with a loss to the Grizzlies (Record 6-13).
Game 20, Thursday, December 6 versus Dallas Mavericks- Suns drop a home game to the Mavericks (Record 6-14).
Game 21, Saturday, December 8 at Los Angeles Clippers- Suns drop the first half of a back-to-back to Blake Griffin and the Clippers (Record 6-15).
Game 22, Sunday, December 9 versus Orlando Magic- Suns play for the third time in four nights and fall to the Magic (Record 6-16).
Game 23, Wednesday, December 12 versus Memphis Grizzlies- Suns lose a close game to the Grizzlies (Record 6-17).
Game 24, Friday, December 14 versus Utah Jazz- Suns get a close home win over the Jazz (Record 7-17).
Game 25, Monday, December 17 versus Sacramento Kings- Suns defeat the Kings (Record 8-17).
Game 26, Wednesday, December 19 versus Charlotte Bobcats- Suns complete a 3-2 homestand with a victory over the Bobcats (Record 9-17).
Game 27, Saturday, December 22 at Portland Trail Blazers- Suns beat the Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden for the first time since March 18, 2008 (Record 10-17).
Game 28, Sunday, December 23 versus Los Angeles Clippers- Suns lose to the Clippers at the US Airways Center for the first time since April 17, 2007 (Record 10-18).
Game 29, Wednesday, December 26 versus New York Knicks- Suns close a two-game homestand with a victory over Amar'e Stoudemire and the Knicks (Record 11-18).
Game 30, Friday, December 28 at Indiana Pacers- Suns open a three-game road trip with a loss to the Pacers (Record 11-19).
Game 31, Saturday, December 29 at Minnesota Timberwolves- Suns play for the third time in four nights and drop a road game to the Timberwolves (Record 11-20).
Game 32, Monday, December 31 at Oklahoma City Thunder- Suns fall to Kevin Durant and the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena (Record 11-21).
Game 33, Wednesday, January 2 versus Philadelphia 76ers- Suns lose to the 76ers for the fifth straight time (Record 11-22).
Game 34, Friday, January 4 versus Utah Jazz- Suns drop a home game to the visiting Jazz (Record 11-23).
Game 35, Sunday, January 6 versus Memphis Grizzlies- Suns close a disappointing 0-3 homestand with a loss to the Grizzlies (Record 11-24).
Game 36, Tuesday, January 8 at Milwaukee Bucks- Suns drop the first half of a back-to-back to the Bucks (Record 11-25).
Game 37, Wednesday, January 9 at Boston Celtics- Suns drop a road game to Rajon Rondo and the Celtics (Record 11-26).
Game 38, Friday, January 11 at Brooklyn Nets- Suns continue to struggle and fall to the Nets (Record 11-27).
Game 39, Saturday, January 12 at Chicago Bulls- Suns play for the fourth time in five nights and lose to the Bulls at the United Center (Record 11-28).
Game 40, Monday, January 14 versus Oklahoma City Thunder- Suns begin a two-game homestand with a loss to the Thunder (Record 11-29).
Game 41, Thursday, January 17 versus Milwaukee Bucks- Suns snap an 11-game losing streak with a home win over the Bucks (Record 12-29).
Game 42, Wednesday, January 23 at Sacramento Kings- Suns defeat the Kings in the first half of a back-to-back (Record 13-29).
Game 43, Thursday, January 24 versus Los Angeles Clippers- Suns fall to the Clippers (Record 13-30).
Game 44, Saturday, January 26 at San Antonio Spurs- Suns drop the first leg of a Texas Two Step to the Spurs (Record 13-31).
Game 45, Sunday, January 27 at Dallas Mavericks- Suns lose the second leg to the Mavericks (Record 13-32).
Game 46, Wednesday, January 30 versus Los Angeles Lakers- Suns drop a home game to the star-studded Lakers (Record 13-33).
Game 47, Friday, February 1 versus Dallas Mavericks- Suns open February with a quality win over Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks (Record 14-33).
Game 48, Saturday, February 2 at Golden State Warriors- Suns play for the third time in four nights and drop a road game to the Warriors (Record 14-34).
Game 49, Tuesday, February 5 at Memphis Grizzlies- Suns fall to the Grizzlies at the FedExForum (Record 14-35).
Game 50, Wednesday, February 6 at New Orleans Hornets- Suns drop the second half of a back-to-back to Anthony Davis and the Hornets (Record 14-36).
Game 51, Friday, February 8 at Oklahoma City Thunder- Suns close another winless road trip with a loss to the Thunder (Record 14-37).
Game 52, Sunday, February 10 versus Oklahoma City Thunder- Suns lose to the Thunder for the 10th straight time (Record 14-38).
Game 53, Tuesday, February 12 at Los Angeles Lakers- Suns fall to the Lakers at the Staples Center (Record 14-39).
Game 54, Tuesday, February 19 at Portland Trail Blazers- Suns open the second half of the season with a loss to the Trail Blazers (Record 14-40).
Game 55, Wednesday, February 20 at Golden State Warriors- Suns drop the second half of a back-to-back to the Warriors (Record 14-41).
Game 56, Friday, February 22 versus Boston Celtics- Suns play their third game in four nights and fall to the visiting Celtics (Record 14-42).
Game 57, Sunday, February 24 versus San Antonio Spurs- Suns get an impressive home win over the Spurs (Record 15-42).
Game 58, Tuesday, February 26 versus Minnesota Timberwolves- Suns close a 1-2 homestand with a loss to the Timberwolves (Record 15-43).
Game 59, Wednesday, February 27 at San Antonio Spurs- Suns fall to the savvy Spurs at the AT&T Center for the eighth consecutive time (Record 15-44).
Game 60, Friday, March 1 versus Atlanta Hawks- Suns open March with a loss to the Hawks (Record 15-45).
Game 61, Wednesday, March 6 versus Toronto Raptors- Suns defeat the Raptors at the US Airways Center (Record 16-45).
Game 62, Friday, March 8 at Sacramento Kings- Suns drop a road game to the Kings at Sleep Train Arena (Record 16-46).
Game 63, Saturday, March 9 versus Houston Rockets- Suns defeat Jeremy Lin and the Rockets in the second half of a back-to-back (Record 17-46).
Game 64, Monday, March 11 versus Denver Nuggets- Suns play for the third time in four nights and drop a home game to the Nuggets (Record 17-47).
Game 65, Wednesday, March 13 at Houston Rockets- Suns open a three-game road trip with a loss to the Rockets (Record 17-48).
Game 66, Friday, March 15 at Atlanta Hawks- Suns fall to the Hawks in the first half of a back-to-back (Record 17-49).
Game 67, Saturday, March 16 at Washington Wizards- Suns visit the Nation's Capital and lose to John Wall and the Wizards (Record 17-50).
Game 68, Monday, March 18 versus Los Angeles Lakers- Suns drop a home game to Kobe Bryant and the Lakers (Record 17-51).
Game 69, Wednesday, March 20 versus Washington Wizards- Suns defeat the Wizards and avenge a loss they suffered just four days earlier (Record 18-51).
Game 70, Friday, March 22 versus Minnesota Timberwolves- Suns get a home win over the Timberwolves (Record 19-51).
Game 71, Sunday, March 24 versus Brooklyn Nets- Suns close a 3-1 homestand with a victory over Deron Williams and the Nets (Record 20-51).
Game 72, Wednesday, March 27 at Utah Jazz- Suns beat the Jazz in the first half of a back-to-back (Record 21-51).
Game 73, Thursday, March 28 versus Sacramento Kings- Suns open a brief two-game homestand with a loss to the Kings (Record 21-52).
Game 74, Saturday, March 30 versus Indiana Pacers- Suns play their third game in four nights and fall to the Pacers (Record 21-53).
Game 75, Wednesday, April 3 at Los Angeles Clippers- Suns drop a road game to Chris Paul and the Clippers (Record 21-54).
Game 76, Friday, April 5 versus Golden State Warriors- Suns defeat the Warriors (Record 22-54).
Game 77, Sunday, April 7 versus New Orleans Hornets- Suns close a brief 2-0 homestand with a victory over the Hornets (Record 23-54).
Game 78, Tuesday, April 9 at Houston Rockets- Suns fall to the Rockets in the first half of another Texas Two Step (Record 23-55).
Game 79, Wednesday, April 10 at Dallas Mavericks- Suns once again drop the second leg to the Mavericks (Record 23-56).
Game 80, Saturday, April 13 at Minnesota Timberwolves- Suns get a road win over Kevin Love and the Timberwolves (Record 24-56).
Game 81, Monday, April 15 versus Houston Rockets- Suns defeat the Rockets in their final home game of the season (Record 25-56).
Game 82, Wednesday, April 17 at Denver Nuggets- Suns close their season with a loss to the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center (Record 25-57).
Prediction: The Phoenix Suns will win fewer than 30 games for just the fourth time in franchise history.
Mark is a lifelong fan of the NBA who has loved the game of basketball ever since his first trip to an NBA arena. Mark has watched more basketball games than anyone can count and has hundreds of articles about the NBA published on the internet. Mark also shares his random NBA musings and game-by-game predictions on RandomNBAFan.com.
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