What: Minnesota Timberwolves (10-31) at Phoenix Suns (26-13)
When: 7:00 p.m. AZ time
Where: Phoenix Suns Arena
Watch: Fox Sports Arizona
Listen: 98.7 FM
Last night, the T-Wolves showed the Suns that they won’t go down without a fight and if they don’t give them the respect of a full fight, they will make them regret it.
That was yet another example of a poor loss on the team’s schedule due to them not bringing their A-game against a lesser team.
Phoenix got popped in the mouth and hopefully now with that taste of blood, they come ready and show that was a fluke and once again remind the basketball world what they’re about this season.
Probable Starting Lineups
Chris Paul - Devin Booker - Mikal Bridges - Jae Crowder - Deandre Ayton
Ricky Rubio - Anthony Edwards - Jarred Vanderbilt - Jake Layman - Karl-Anthony Towns
Suns: Abdel Nader (Day-to-Day) - Cameron Johnson (Out)
Wolves: Jarret Culver (Out) - Jordan McLaughlin (Out) - D’Angelo Russell (Out)
Keys to the Game
Despite ESPN’s Matchup Predictor showing the Suns at over 88%, we witnessed what happened last night. That can NOT happen again.
We need to see real, prepared Phoenix basketball. Not whatever that was. Simply unacceptable.
Matthew talked on a couple of these in yesterday’s preview. The Suns didn’t listen. I’ll bring it up again. Maybe they’ll read this. Probably not. But just in case...
Control the Rookie
Anthony Edwards is on a scoring tear. The 19-year-old is now averaging 30.6 points over his last five games, including that explosive 42 point demonstration last night. In that game, he became the third-youngest player in NBA history to score 40.
Mikal Bridges, do what you do Warden.
The Center Matchup
Deandre Ayton fouled out in 26 minutes last night, only taking 8 shots and managing a mere 14 points and 7 rebounds. He needs to be more focused, show an example of what’s to come in his legacy he mentioned for his newborn son and come to battle, baby. He needs to be fed early and often on the offensive end to tire out KAT, which will help prevent him from scoring 41 points on 24 shots again. We know what DA is capable of on both ends of the court. Do it, daddy!
Free Throws and Turnovers
In last night’s L, the Suns lost the free-throw battle and the turnover battle. Both by a lot. That can not happen again.
Phoenix only went to the charity stripe 19 times compared to Minnesota’s 35.
The Suns committed 22 turnovers and only forced the Timberwolves to cough it up 12 times.
The Suns have yet to lose back-to-back games this season. This is not the time for a first. The Suns have been good at learning their lesson and bouncing back with strong Ws. It’s time for more of the same in that respect. Go Suns!