Where: U.S. Airways Center - Phoenix, AZ
When: 7:00 p.m. (AZ)
Watch: FSAZ (locally) / NBA League Pass
The Phoenix Suns are coming off of a hard-fought victory against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night, to improve to 4-3 on the season, and most importantly, avoid falling below .500 for the first time during the Ryan McDonough and Jeff Hornacek era. The Suns were down for most of the game, but somehow found the right mix of energy, hustle, defense, and scoring at just the right time, as Phoenix was able to rally behind Isaiah Thomas and Gerald Green in the fourth quarter to get a big win at home.
As for the Brooklyn Nets, they are also coming off of a win at home against the Orlando Magic on Sunday. Bojan Bogdanovic (surprisingly, no relation to Suns' draft pick Bogdan Bogdanovic) led the Nets in scoring with 22 points. In addition, Mason Plumlee had his best overall game of the season thus far with his first double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Probable Starting Lineups
|PG||Eric Bledsoe||Deron Williams|
|SG||Goran Dragic||Bojan Bogdanovic|
|SF||Marcus Morris||Joe Johnson|
|PF||Markieff Morris||Kevin Garnett|
What To Watch For
Post Problems: It's no secret that the biggest weakness for the Phoenix Suns' thus far has been their ability to score, and especially, defend in the post. Just look at their two worst losses thus far...the Utah Jazz and the Memphis Grizzlies. Both of those teams have strong, skilled bigs. And guess what? Brooklyn happens to have a couple very skilled big men as well in Brook Lopez, Kevin Garnett, and Mason Plumlee. Although Brooklyn scores the majority of their points through Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, their big men can create problems with their scoring and rebounding. This will definitely be something the Suns need to account for.
Chemistry and Physics: The Suns have struggled thus far to find the right formula that will give them the best rotations to maximize their efficiency, and ensure their best players stay involved and productive. This has been especially concerning with the three very talented point guards; Dragic, Bledsoe, and Thomas. It isn't physically possible for all three to simultaneously play and control the ball on offense, but all three are crucial components to the team, and play starter's minutes. Dragic has looked more involved these last two games, and Bledsoe has shown flashes of dominance. Thomas has been the most consistent overall, save for the game against Sacramento right after his grandfather passed, but he is playing off of the bench. The Suns need to get all three involved tonight, to help get a win against a dangerous Nets team.
Solar Energy: So far this season, the Suns have looked very different at times than the "stupid" Suns fans were used to seeing last year. They haven't seemed as aggressive on offense, or hustled as hard on defense to bother their opponents and cause chaos like they were known for last season. In fact, this past game against the Warriors, in the fourth quarter, was the first time I really saw them play with the same intensity that Phoenix played with on a regular basis last year. It all comes down to energy and hustle, especially on the defensive side of the court. The Suns need to go back to playing with a chip on their shoulder, and give their best effort on each play. Their biggest advantage is their depth, so there is no reason to worry about getting overly tired or playing too many minutes. The Suns need to bring the energy tonight in order to get a win against a much older, slower Nets team.
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