by Marcel Mutoni

It’s Thursday, and that means the game choices are limited.

TNT’s double dip features three teams that are still trying to find each other, and one who’s exceeding all reasonable expectations.

Suns @ Mavs: Phoenix was without the services of Shaquille O’Neal and Steve Nash last night, and predictably, they got romped by the Hornets. And speaking of Shaq, he bristled at the prevailing notion that he’s the one stopping the Suns from running and gunning. The Arizona Republic brings us the goods:

“If we’re going to run, we should stop talking about it and just do it,” O’Neal said. “We don’t need coach’s permission to get a rebound and run. I’m going to be the one igniting the break because I’m getting most of the rebounds. It doesn’t matter to me. I can play any style.”

“I’m only getting five shots a game, so it can’t be like they’re throwing to me every time,” said O’Neal, who actually is averaging 9.8 shots per game but took six in Sunday’s game.

Spurs @ Nuggets: At 13-6, and playing sparkling basketball since the acquisition of Chauncey Billups, the Denver Nuggets have the League’s full attention now. And tonight, they face off against an old nemesis, one whose season got off to a rocky start.

The Spurs are, in fact, slowly (but surely) rounding into shape; they’re 7-3 in their last ten games, and with Manu now back in the lineup, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if they start moving up in the Western Conference standings.