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Preview: No chill for Suns fans as Phoenix Suns visit Memphis Grizzlies

Speaking of charisma...
Speaking of charisma...
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

What: Phoenix Suns vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Where: FedExForum, Memphis, TN

When: 1:30PM AZ Time

Watch: Fox Sports AZ, NBA League Pass

There is zero chill among Phoenix Suns fans right now.  The Suns' record stands at a disappointing 8-12.  The team has coughed up 3 consecutive 4th-quarter leads against very beatable opponents in the Brooklyn Nets, Detroit Pistons, and Washington Wizards.  Phoenix has dropped to 1-3 on their season-long 6 game road trip and face daunting challenges in this afternoon's game against the Memphis Grizzlies and tomorrow versus the Chicago Bulls.

There isn't much to like about the turn this season has taken for the Phoenix Suns.  A top 10 defense has plummeted to 22nd place in defensive rating (per bball-ref).  In the last 3 games (all losses), the Suns have had an offensive rating of 83.0 and a defensive rating of 118.0 in the 4th quarter.  For perspective, the Philadelphia 76ers have worst O-rating in the league at 92.0, while the New Orleans Pelicans have the worst D-rating at 108.6.  The Phoenix Suns are playing the worst basketball possible in the 4th quarter in the month of December and it's reflected in their 3 game skid.

Into this malaise come the 11-9 Memphis Grizzlies.  The Suns haven't beaten the Grizzlies since February 5, 2013, losing the last 7 matchups.

I would love to have a good reason to tell you to embrace some chill at this point in the article, but all I've got is faith right now and I'm not charismatic enough to get you on my level and I don't think you necessarily need to be there for us to be friends.

The good news is that this Grizzlies squad is imminently beatable.  Yes, they still have Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley.  But new acquisition Mario Chalmers has returned to earth after a hot start with the team and they just got thumped by 20 points by the San Antonio Spurs.  If Phoenix can play any semblance of interior defense against Gasol and Randolph while pushing the tempo, they've got a shot at winning this game.  Of course the interior defense might be hard to come by with Tyson Chandler potentially missing a 5th straight game (hamstring) and the tempo pushing could lead to turnovers where the Suns have the 5th highest turnover rate in the league.

But like I said, I have faith.  I'll let Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, Jon Leuer and Mirza Teletovic provide the charisma.  Suns 99, Grizz 96 in a game where Phoenix figures out how to close.

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