Marc Stein reports:
Suns coach Mike D’Antoni will likely start James Jones or Barbosa in Stoudemire’s place, with an outside shot that little-used Jalen Rose or Pat Burke plays some emergency minutes in the frontcourt. It’ll be the first game Stoudemire has missed this season in his comeback.
Okay. Kurt Thomas, Shawn Marion, James Jones, Raja Bell, and Steve Nash is a perfectly viable starting five. Then you have Barbosa off the bench. But this seems to imply that if Kurt Thomas needs to sit because guarding Tim Duncan leads to fatigue or foul trouble, that D’Antoni thinks he can use Marion to guard Duncan. Has he done that in the past? Phoenix has played without Amare before, but the incredible versatility of Boris Diaw was, it seems to me, key to making it work as well as it did.