When: Tonight, Oct. 14. 7:00pm AZ time
Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, AZ
TV: Rise Network (Suns.com) 75 mile radius
Radio: 98.7 FM Arizona Sports
The new Mavericks with same old Dirk Nowitzki are in town tonight for the fifth, and second to last preseason game of the 2016-17 season.
So far, Phoenix has been playing very up-and-down...even within the same game. Cold starts and hot finishes have been about the only constant in the early preview of this season's Suns, With Wednesday's last second win over the Utah Jazz being the most extreme example.
In case you haven't seen or heard yet, the Suns fell behind by as much as 30 points in the second quarter, before turning it around and slowly chipping away at the lead throughout the rest of the game, with the final swing of the axe coming from a haymaker blow at the rim from none other than Archie Goodwin with only three seconds left in the game, and giving the Suns their first, and ultimately final lead of the game...resulting in an improbable, yet thrilling victory.
As for the Mavericks, they have also played up and down so far. Dallas has their new Golden State Warriors transfers--Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut--inserted into the starting lineup. Like the Suns, they have had mixed results so far.
Looking at the stat comparisons, the Suns and Mavs are averaging identical numbers on offense...40% from the field, 30% from three, and 70% on free-throws.
However, the preseason isn't meant to demonstrate your best play, but to try various line-ups and give minutes to the deep bench guys who may not get the same opportunities otherwise...so it's anyone's guess as to who has the actual advantage tonight.
However, let's hope the Suns finish off their final preseason game at home with a win!
Deron Williams vs. Eric Bledsoe
J.J. Barrea vs. Devin Booker
Harrison Barnes vs. T.J. Warren
Dirk Nowitzki vs. Jared Dudley
Andrew Bogut vs. Alex Len
Of course, either team could choose to rest any of the above players, as is common in preseason, so time will tell who actually plays tonight. Brandon Knight was out with knee soreness (tendonitis) on Wednesday, and Tyson Chandler was also out with a sore hamstring that has been bothering him since before camp, reportedly, so I would imagine he will likely sit out again.
Keys to the Game
- Consistency - Can the Suns show a consistent effort from start to finish? So far the Suns have been a second-half team...Hopefully, they can show a bit more fire to start the game as well.
- Youth Movement - Which young players will step up tonight? Marquese Chriss has been the most impressive so far. Will Dragan Bender or Tyler Ulis have a break-out game tonight?
- Foul Trouble - The bigs, especially, have been foul prone in the preseason. Can Len and Chriss stay on the court and play physical without prompting the refs to blow their whistles?
- No Injuries - No injuries for either team...please?!?