Vivant Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, UT
6:00 PM MST October 12, 2016
Watch: NBATV (Nationally) / Listen: AZ Sports 98.7 FM
A word association exercise with the Utah Jazz might elicit responses such as gritty, tenacious or bruising.
Some people might be surprised to hear that it was the Jazz who were the ones talking about the Suns physical play after their game last week.
"They’re very physical," Gobert said of the Suns play. "They got into us pretty good."
Jazz coach Quinn Snyder echoed some of that sentiment about the way the game unfolded in the early going. "They got physical with us and I didn’t think we responded initially to that very well."
Eventually the Jazz did respond, though, and managed to escape with a 104-99 win led by 21 points and 10 rebounds from Rudy Gobert. Six players notched double digits for the Suns, including rookies Marquese Chriss (11 points) and Tyler Ulis (12 points).
Phoenix has only played once since that game, a 115-110 loss at Portland, in which Devin Booker exploded for 34 points on 15-23 shooting. Chriss also put up 16 points, 8 rebounds and a couple highlight reel dunks.
This will be the fourth of six preseason games for the Suns, with the season opener against the Sacramento Kings only two weeks away.
What to watch for:
Devin Booker - After scoring 34 points against Portland, Booker is now averaging 22 per game for the preseason with double digits in all three games. Is Devin, who turns 20 on October 30th, poised for similar production in the upcoming season?
Marquese Chriss - Chriss has also scored in double digits in all three games this preseason and is coming off an impressive outing against the Blazers. The backup power forward minutes should be his to lose and he might already be setting his sights on Jared Dudley's starting job. Watson has been effusive in his praise of Chriss's physical play and Marquese showed no hesitation going up against Gobert in the first matchup.
Alex Len - This is going to be a big year for the 23 year old Len, who is currently being upstaged by two 19 year old teammates. Len managed just 4 points and 5 rebounds in the Suns loss to Utah (compared to Gobert's 21/10). Alex, who is averaging 5.7 points and 5.3 rebounds this preseason, could really use a breakout performance against the Jazz.