Game Preview: Phoenix Suns vs. Charlotte Bobcats

Streeter Lecka

Will the Suns be able to slow down the red hot Al Jefferson?

The Suns return to the comfy confines of the U.S. Airways Center in an even better position than they expected.  Four games in five nights on the road ended up being four wins in five nights on the road.

Phoenix begins a stretch of four of the next fives games at home tonight against the Charlotte Bobcats.

After going 2-5 in the first seven games without Eric Bledsoe the Suns have hit their stride and are back in the mix for the Pacific Division. Phoenix is essentially tied for second place with the Golden State Warriors, three and a half games behind the Clippers for first.

SUNS


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Goran Dragic 43 34.5 7.0 14.1 50.0 1.4 3.6 39.0 4.4 5.6 78.0 1.0 2.4 3.4 6.1 2.8 1.3 0.2 2.4 19.9
Eric Bledsoe 24 33.5 6.3 13.0 48.6 1.2 3.3 35.0 4.2 5.3 78.9 0.4 3.8 4.3 5.8 3.3 1.5 0.3 2.5 18.0
Gerald Green 46 28.1 5.0 11.3 44.0 2.4 6.3 37.9 1.8 2.1 85.3 0.4 2.6 3.0 1.6 1.5 0.9 0.7 2.8 14.1
Markieff Morris 45 24.9 4.7 9.8 48.1 0.4 1.2 36.5 3.0 3.8 78.9 1.9 3.8 5.8 1.7 1.6 0.8 0.6 2.7 12.8
Channing Frye 46 28.4 4.5 9.9 45.6 2.2 5.4 41.5 1.0 1.2 78.9 1.0 4.3 5.3 1.1 1.1 0.8 0.8 3.1 12.3
Marcus Morris 46 22.2 3.6 8.2 43.4 1.3 3.4 37.4 1.6 2.0 79.6 1.2 3.1 4.3 1.1 1.2 1.0 0.2 2.0 10.0
Miles Plumlee 46 27.4 4.2 8.3 50.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.1 2.2 51.0 2.5 6.0 8.6 0.6 1.5 0.7 1.5 2.6 9.5
P.J. Tucker 46 30.3 3.2 7.7 41.4 0.9 2.2 40.8 1.9 2.5 78.1 2.1 4.1 6.1 1.8 1.3 1.2 0.3 2.4 9.2
Leandro Barbosa 11 20.8 3.3 8.1 40.4 0.3 1.4 20.0 1.7 2.2 79.2 0.5 1.8 2.3 2.1 1.0 0.5 0.3 1.5 8.5
Ish Smith 34 13.2 1.6 4.3 36.1 0.0 0.5 5.6 0.3 0.5 52.9 0.4 1.2 1.5 2.4 0.9 0.7 0.2 0.9 3.4
Archie Goodwin 36 10.3 1.2 3.2 38.3 0.1 0.8 10.7 0.5 0.8 66.7 0.4 1.3 1.7 0.4 0.9 0.4 0.2 0.7 3.0
Alex Len 18 8.4 0.9 1.9 45.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.6 0.7 76.9 1.3 1.5 2.8 0.1 0.6 0.2 0.3 1.7 2.3
Dionte Christmas 22 6.7 0.8 2.0 39.5 0.3 1.0 26.1 0.5 0.5 83.3 0.4 0.9 1.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.6 2.3
Viacheslav Kravtsov 17 3.1 0.4 0.7 58.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.5 50.0 0.4 0.4 0.8 0.1 0.4 0.0 0.1 0.4 1.

BOBCATS


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Al Jefferson 39 33.8 8.7 17.7 48.9 0.1 0.1 40.0 2.5 3.7 67.8 2.2 8.5 10.7 2.1 1.4 0.9 1.2 2.5 19.9
Kemba Walker 42 35.7 6.7 16.0 42.1 1.5 4.4 35.5 3.7 4.6 79.9 0.6 3.6 4.2 5.0 2.5 1.4 0.5 1.6 18.7
Gerald Henderson 48 33.3 5.6 13.2 42.0 0.4 1.2 29.8 3.8 4.8 78.7 0.5 3.8 4.2 2.7 1.6 0.8 0.4 2.1 15.3
Ramon Sessions 48 23.6 3.5 8.5 40.5 0.2 1.3 18.3 3.6 4.5 79.6 0.4 1.7 2.1 3.7 1.7 0.6 0.1 0.9 10.7
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 28 25.8 3.1 6.7 46.5 0.0 0.3 11.1 1.9 3.3 58.2 1.5 3.5 4.9 0.9 1.4 0.7 0.8 2.9 8.1
Jeff Taylor 26 24.2 3.2 8.4 37.6 0.7 2.6 26.9 1.0 1.8 55.3 0.6 1.7 2.3 0.8 1.0 0.5 0.2 2.4 8.0
Josh McRoberts 47 30.3 3.0 7.1 42.6 1.2 3.3 37.2 0.7 1.0 68.8 1.1 4.0 5.2 4.1 1.0 0.9 0.6 2.6 8.0
Ben Gordon 17 14.8 2.1 5.8 35.7 0.4 1.5 26.9 0.9 1.1 78.9 0.1 1.4 1.5 1.1 1.2 0.5 0.1 1.0 5.4
Jannero Pargo 15 8.8 2.0 4.0 50.0 1.0 2.1 46.9 0.3 0.5 71.4 0.0 0.5 0.5 1.5 1.1 0.5 0.0 0.7 5.3
Anthony Tolliver 39 20.8 1.7 4.1 41.0 1.4 3.2 42.9 0.3 0.4 75.0 0.5 2.2 2.7 0.8 0.4 0.3 0.2 1.4 5.1
Chris Douglas-Roberts 21 17.2 1.8 3.5 50.7 0.8 1.8 42.1 0.7 0.9 78.9 0.2 1.7 1.9 0.5 0.8 0.3 0.3 0.9 5.0
Cody Zeller 48 16.6 1.9 5.0 37.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.3 1.7 76.5 1.3 2.7 4.0 1.1 1.1 0.5 0.4 2.2 5.0
Bismack Biyombo 43 16.0 1.3 2.0 62.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.9 1.5 57.6 1.3 4.0 5.3 0.1 0.6 0.1 1.1 1.6 3.4
Jeff Adrien 22 11.0 0.9 1.7 51.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.6 1.1 52.0 1.5 2.2 3.7 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.6 1.5 2.3

Charlotte will continue to be without Kemba Walker (ankle), who has missed the past six games.  They've gone 4-2 starting Ramon Sessions, Gerald Henderson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Josh McRoberts and Al Jefferson.

Key Match-Up

When the Suns beat the Bobcats 98-91 on November 22nd it was Al Jefferson's first action after missing four games.  He only played 25 minutes and scored nine points on six shots.

It's a different story tonight - Jefferson is coming off a 40 point, 18 rebound and four assist effort in Charlotte's win over the Lakers on Friday.

Jefferson has been one of the hottest players in the NBA averaging 23.9 points and 11.3 rebounds in January, in his last three games he's putting up 35.7 points and 14 boards.

Miles Plumlee will get the first crack at him, but Plumlee has struggled at times this season dealing with bigger players with back to the basket post games.  When Phoenix opens the game I would expect them to attack Jefferson on the other end of the court forcing him to defend the Dragic/Plumlee pick and roll.

This could be a good opportunity to give Alex Len a chance to defend one of the better scoring big men in the NBA.  He's played 14, 22 and 14 minutes in the last three games and his length and strength provides a bigger deterrent to Big Al on the defensive end.

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