The Phoenix Suns beat a Los Angeles Lakers team late last night that was fighting as hard as ever to get their first win of the season. Fortunately for the Suns, that didn't happen, as Phoenix was able to withstand a barrage of shots from Kobe Bryant, who played 44 minutes and scored 39 points on 37 attempts. and escape L.A. with a win to improve to 3-1 on the season.
Tonight, the Suns will have their work cut out for them as they face the Memphis Grizzlies, who are one of only three teams in the NBA who are still undefeated. The Grizzlies had struck out to a 4-0 start to the season after beating the Timberwolves, Pacers, Hornets and Pelicans, respectively. For Memphis, the Suns will likely be the toughest competition they've faced thus far. They will be looking to prove that they are a real threat in the Western Conference, by beating the Suns on their home court tonight.
Probable Starting Lineups
|PG||Eric Bledsoe||Mike Conley|
|SG||Goran Dragic||Tony Allen|
|SF||Marcus Morris||Tayshaun Prince|
|PF||Markieff Morris||Zach Randolph|
|C||Miles Plumlee||Marc Gasol|
What To Watch For
Tired legs: The Suns have gotten off to a slow start in all but one of their four games thus far. At times, the Suns have seemed out of sync to start the game, and this could be even further exacerbated tonight by having played on the road late last night. The Suns simply cannot afford to allow the Grizzlies to take a commanding lead early on, they have to begin the game with a fast tempo and aggressive attitude...which leads me to my next point.
Run And Gun: There's no question that the Suns are at their best when running the floor and getting out into transition to score quickly on their opponent. This should be one of their biggest advantages, as the Grizzlies aren't exactly a known for their fast play. However, if they let the Grizzlies dictate the pace of the game, and get sucked into a half-court style of play, this will strongly benefit Memphis. Because they will give the Suns...
Big Trouble: If the game against Utah showed the Suns anything, it's that their greatest weakness seems to be competing against teams with big, strong, skilled big men...and that's exactly who Memphis will feature. The Grizzlies' front-court tandem of Gasol and Z-Bo are not only the two leading scorers and rebounders for Memphis, they are the focal points of their offense. Markieff Morris, Miles Plumlee, and Alex Len will have their hands full dealing with these two and will definitely need all the help they can get from the...
Hydra: The Suns back-court has all the potential to be the most dangerous and electrifying in all of the NBA this season. With a rotation of Bledsoe, Dragic, Thomas...the potential for points off of transition scoring, three-point shots, aggressive and-one's, and high-flying dunks seems limitless. Although all three had good games overall in the first two, none have been been consistent throughout all four. The Suns will live and die by the play of their backcourt this season, and they will likely need all three of these players at their best to defeat a team like Memphis tonight. That plus a good showing from...
The Bench: Last night, the Suns were carried to a victory by the bench...specifically Isaiah Thomas and Gerald Green, who combined for 48 points between the two of them. Although the Suns will certainly need their starters to play better tonight, you should probably get used to a recurring theme of the Suns relying on their bench to out-score the opponent's. The Suns will need the bench to show up big once again in order to get the win tonight.