They have watched all the pay-per-view movies that the team hotel has available, and played enough cards in the last 48 hours to leave even Amarillo Slim bleary-eyed.
And they have looked out the window – again, and again and again.
The view hasn’t changed. Thursday was Day 2 for the snow-bound Suns, who were still stuck in Denver as the city dug out of one of the biggest snowstorms in its history. And that’s saying something for Denver.
The airport remained closed and will stay that way until about noon today. The Suns are hoping to head home at approximately 4 p.m., giving them just a few hours after the 90-minute flight to Phoenix to hustle to US Airways Center for an 8:30 p.m., nationally televised game with the Washington Wizards.
“I think we’ll be OK, the weather has let up quite a bit and the crews are catching up in the streets,” Suns coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We won’t have a lot of time to spare, but we should make it. I just hope we haven’t lost some steam.”
And the Suns went to Denver with a full head of steam, winners of a franchise-record 15 straight games before Wednesday’s game against the Nuggets was cancelled and left them stranded. They were able to get the restaurant open in their downtown hotel for meals and were able to practice at the Pepsi Center for about an hour Thursday afternoon.
The Suns are sharing the Westin hotel and its provisions with the NHL’s Calgary Flames, who had their game with the Colorado Avalanche cancelled Thursday in the same predicament. The players and staffs have gotten to know each other a bit and will have a shared experience they won’t likely forget.
The Wizards can be dangerous. They spoiled the Suns’ pre-Christmas mood last year, getting 41 points from Gilbert Arenas to win in Phoenix 112-111 on Dec. 23.
Arenas will be motivated tonight. He was unhappy about being left off this summer’s USA basketball team that went to the World Championships, and vowed to “score 100 points” in the two games against the Team USA assistants and their teams — D’Antoni’s Suns and Nate McMillan’s Portland Trailblazers. He later apologized for the remarks but said the snub would push him.
“That was wrong of me. I really want to say sorry for it and I want to say sorry to Mike D’Antoni,” he said. “That was the immature Gilbert two months ago. (But) there’s always someone out there who keeps me going. And I like it.”
Wizards vs. Suns
When: 8:30 p.m., today
Where: US Airways Center
TV: ESPN, Fox Sports Arizona
Radio: KTAR (620 AM, 92.3 FM)
Records: Wizards 13-12; Suns 18-6
Series history: The Suns have had great success against the Wizards, winning 25 of the last 36 meetings and 15 of the last 17 in Phoenix. But Washington holds one of only three wins by Eastern Conference teams at US Airways Center since the beginning of the 2004-05 season, getting 41 points from Gilbert Arenas to pull out a 112-111 win last Dec. 23.
Scouting report: Wizards – Washington won’t be any more rested than Phoenix tonight. While the Suns were trying to get out of Denver, the Wizards have been on a four-game Western swing and end it here after a long flight from Sacramento Thursday. But the Wizards went in with six wins in their last eight games, scoring at least 100 points in every game and getting an average of 79.5 points a game from the trio of Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison.