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Game Preview: Suns (26-12) take on the lowly T-Wolves (9-31)

The T-Wolves have booked a two night stay in Phoenix, with game-one starting tonight.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Minnesota Timberwolves Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

What: Minnesota Timberwolves (9-31) at Phoenix Suns (26-12)

When: 7:00 p.m. AZ time

Where: Phoenix Suns Arena

Watch: Fox Sports Arizona

Listen: 98.7 FM


It would be a couple easy layup wins for the Suns in a back-to-back against the T-Wolves, but you are talking about a new Suns team who isn’t looking into any easy wins the rest of the season. The lesson has been learned a couple times this year with poor loses on the Suns schedule and to overlook this T-Wolves team would be a mistake.

Sitting alone at the bottom of the Western Conference standing, the T-Wolves still have veterans and growing players that do not want be embarrassed. Better weather in the Valley might bring a smile to the players from Minnesota especially Ricky Rubio.

Papa Ricky misses us just as much as we miss him. Him staying in Phoenix and not going back to Minnesota is one thing to look forward to. There is a 0% chance that happens, but we continue to can pray and hope.


Probable Starting Lineups

Phoenix

  1. Chris Paul
  2. Devin Booker
  3. Mikal Bridges
  4. Jae Crawford
  5. Deandre (new daddy) Ayton

Minnesota

  1. Ricky Rubio
  2. Jarred Vanderbilt
  3. Anthony Edwards
  4. Jake Layman
  5. Karl-Anthony Towns

Injuries

Suns: Abdel Nadar (day-to-day) Cameron Johnson (Out)

Wolves: Jarret Culver (Out) Jordan McLaughlin (Out) D’Angelo Russell (Out)


T-Wolves breakdown

Throwing in the towel for the rest of the season is not an option. Minnesota will play the rest of the season out with hopes to remain in the lottery for the coming draft with some promising Rookies next season.

Right now their strength of schedule according to tankathon.com shows them having the the 9th hardest schedule at 50.9% for the remainder of the season. The Suns are right behind them at 10th at 50.7%. This is based off the winning percentage from the combined opponents they will face.

The Suns two remaining games against the T-Wolves remain one of the toughest opponents they will face. This is a great recipe for them to continue on their path to losing.

The Rookie

Lamelo Ball has definitely stole the show this year and has looked to have ran away with the Rookie of the Year Award, but not so fast my friend. Anthony Edwards, the number one overall pick in the 2020 draft, is beginning to show why he went number one. Something that we are seeing recently with the rookie is the ball in his hands more often than not.

Watching the New Orleans Pelicans play the other night against the Portland Trailblazers, you can see that the Pelicans are letting Zion Williamson the ball. Giving their future superstar a role as the playmaker and it works.

Edwards should have the ball more and more, and is likely the last one left in the Minnesota in a year or two when the team begins the rebuild again.

His last eight games:

24.5 PTS, 5.6 REB, 2.3 AST, 1.8 STL


Suns Breakdown

A five-game homestand for the Suns has begun with a 1-1 record after the a solid win against the Memphis Grizzlies and a let down loss against the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers game was a must win for a Pacers team that needs to get their act together in fighting for a playoff spot out east, so it really wasn’t a bad loss.

A bad loss would be a loss against the T-Wolves. The Suns are making it known that they hate losing and they are ok with that. The wins are nice, but they are not settling. The goal this season continues to increase this season from playoffs, to maybe more.

What the Suns should be looking for in the first game against the T-Wolves is the production of every player in the lineup. The productivity from the bench and the starting lineup continuing to gel.

The focus to give Deandre Ayton the ball time after time would give him great confidence in a nice matchup against Karl Anthony-Towns. Building off of these two games for Ayton is a focus that needs to carry over to the rest of the season. Again, an easy opponent, but that shouldn’t mean a night off for one member of the team.

Coach Monty Williams needs help in deciding the lineups for up and coming crucial matchups out east in the upcoming week.


Prediction

Ayton will be watching from the bench in the fourth quarter... due to a blowout win! The Suns can’t handle the headache of a letdown loss in the return of Papa Ricky!