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Game Preview: Suns end road trip against the Hornets

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The Hornets (4th seed in the east) take on the Suns (2nd seed in the west)

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

What: Phoenix Suns (30-14) at Charlotte Hornets (23-21)

When: Sunday, 10:00 AM

Where: Charlotte, NC

Watch: Fox Sports Arizona

Listen: 98.7 FM Radio


The Suns have now reached 30 wins this season after starting the current road trip 2-1. They finish out the road trip against the Hornets, even without LaMelo Ball are showing a lot of fight, currently sitting as the 4th seed in the East.

The Hornets are one of the more exciting stories right now in the NBA. A franchise that is finally turning things around with the right group of players. Sounds a lot like the Suns right?

28 games are left to play for both squads (give-or-take a few postponed covid games) to establish a top-4 seed going into the playoffs. Every game in this tight race truly matters from here on out.


Probable Starters

Hornets

  1. Devonte’ Graham
  2. Terry Rozier
  3. Gordon Hayward
  4. P.J. Washington
  5. Bismack Biyombo

Suns

  1. Chis Paul
  2. Devin Booker
  3. Mikal Bridges
  4. Jae Crowder
  5. Deandre Ayton

The Hornets report

Any fan of the NBA loves the spread of wealth when it comes to the talent of the NBA assigned to more teams than none. Gordon Hayward, who received a large amount of money when signing with the Hornets, was highly questionable. But a team like Charlotte needed a name. Not too high and not too low of a name that can spark something with the team.

You can tell the team has gelled very well, even with the absence of Ball, whos return is not clear after a wrist injury. The question was, do we still watch this team on NBA League Pass or should we move on to teams like the New Orleans Pelicans? No, do not move on and keep watching this team.

The Hornets have won three game in a row after losing three straight and have a couple good wins against the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat.

Players who are stepping up and may have been forgotten include Malik Monk, who in the last game against the Miami Heat shot 12-17, scoring 32 points. Monk is now shooting a career high 42% from three and averaging 13.2 points per game.

Terry Rozier is also averaging a career high 42% from three but has continued a dominant performance in the box score from last year. A player that plays very well in any situation that is given to him with this Hornets team.

The signings that seemed like a reach for Michael Jordan's Hornets have paid off.

Injuries: Brad Wanamaker (day-to-day), LaMelo Ball (out)


The Suns report

The trade deadline has passed and I believe all Suns players are relieved. After Friday nights win against the Toronto Raptors, you can take away two things; Deandre Ayton is the key to unlocking a championship run showing that he can help stabilize runs with great play, and every team in the NBA is ready to play their best game against the Suns.

Locking up Booker and making it difficult for Paul on the offensive end is a game-plan going forward for opponents. Who will step up. It has to be Ayton and it has to be Bridges. Of course, these are both young players in the third year so it is a lot to put on their shoulders. That is why, with the trade deadline passed and not a player out their worthy to help this team, we will enjoy watching this team grow together.

The window might be shutting for Paul, but is it really? Nothing this year has shown me that he has slowed down. So maybe that window in wide open for two to three more years.

Injuries: Abdel Nader (out)


Prediction

This one can really go either way. Finishing this east coast road swing with a 2-2 record isn't the worst thing. But who will get hot in this early game? This will be a close game and the Suns should be able to pull this one off, happy to return home.

...This game preview is dedicated to the Memory of LaMelo Ball’s rookie season...