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Game Preview: Phoenix Suns (10-8) Vs. Indiana Pacers (7-10)

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The Suns have lost their last two games. Will they be able to get back on track with a win against the Pacers tonight?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

What: Phoenix Suns Vs. Indiana Pacers

Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena - Phoenix, AZ

When: 7:00 p.m. (AZ)

Watch: FSAZ (locally) / NBA League Pass

Tonight, the Phoenix Suns are playing their second home game in a row against the Indiana Pacers, after a very disappointing loss to the Orlando Magic on Sunday night.  Tonight's game will be their final home game before embarking on a very tough, three-game road-trip against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, the Houston Rockets on Saturday, and the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday, before returning home to play the Miami Heat next Tuesday.

It's way too early to call tonight's game a "must-win", but...yeah.

The Pacers, on the other hand, are coming off two-days of rest after losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night, 109-97.  Although the Pacers have a losing record, they were able to beat the Orlando Magic the night before that, something the Suns found themselves unable to do on Sunday, and also stole a win in Dallas last week...so the Suns can't afford to take this team lightly.

Lineups

Team
Suns
Pacers
PG
Eric Bledsoe
Donald Sloan
SG
Goran Dragic
Rodney Stucky
SF
Marcus Morris
Solomon Hill
PF
Markieff Morris
David West
C
Miles Plumlee
Roy Hibbert

Tale of the Tape

Team
Suns
Pacers
Record
10-8
7-10
PPG
104.5 (5th
93.4 (26th)
RPG
42.3 (14th)
46.4 (2nd)
APG
20.6 (20th)
18.9 (27th)
OPPG
103.3 (25th)
95.3 (5th)
Leading Scorer
Isaiah Thomas (15.5)
David West (16.0)
Leading Rebounder
Markieff Morris (6.4)
Lavoy Allen (8.1)

What To Watch For

Energy & Intensity: These were the buzz words heard loud and clear throughout Suns' practice yesterday. The Suns need to get back to playing with energy, including a fast tempo with lots of movement on offense, and a pesky and persistent style of defense, looking for opportunities to create turnovers and run in transition.  The Suns haven't played with the same energy lately, and it has cost them.  If they can come out with intensity, and maintain it throughout, I see no reason the Suns should lose this game.

Rebounding: Too many second-chance opportunities has led to big problems for the Suns defensively.  Phoenix needs all hands on deck...or the glass...in order to keep the Pacers off of the boards and force them into a one-and-done shooting opportunity  The Pacers are very good rebounders.  Second in the league overall.  The Suns have really been struggling in this department, especially over the past week.  They will need to tighten up big time against a very good rebounding team if they want to ensure a win tonight.

Chuck Wagon: The Suns' bench is one of their greatest strengths.  The depth of the Suns is really what stands out about this team, not the top level talent.  The scoring punch of the bench has been greatly reduced without Isaiah Thomas in the line-up, and assuming he plays tonight, the Suns need to get good production from their bench to maintain and grow the lead against Indiana's reserves.

For more on tonight's game, visit the Indiana Pacer's SB Nation site, Indy Cornrows, as well.