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Game Preview: Suns take on the tanking Pacers

A perfect opportunity for the Suns to gain some of that chemistry back against a Pacers team still searching for answers.

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Phoenix Suns Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

What: Phoenix Suns (31-9) @ Indiana Pacers (15-27)

When: 5:00 p.m. AZ Time

Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse

Watch: Bally Sports Arizona

Listen: 98.7 FM


The Phoenix Suns head to Indiana to take on a Pacers team eyeing the trade deadline. A team (shown below) that has a starting lineup that looks good on paper but does not mesh well on the court.

The Suns are now in a limbo of win and everything is ok, or, lose and we must rethink everything.

It is very up-and-down season for the Suns, even for a team with a 31-9 record. They are seen as title contenders, but one miss-step and Booker really isn’t better than Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls! Of course, this is bologna.

To right the ship, the Suns are due for a blow-out win tonight against the Pacers.


The Starting Lineups

Phoenix

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

Injury Update: Justin Jackson is back with the team, and Cameron Johnson is listed as QUESTIONABLE with his ankle sprain (meaning he’s day to day, returning soon).

Indiana

  1. Domantas Sabonis
  2. Caris LeVert
  3. Justin Holiday
  4. Myles Turner
  5. Malcolm Brogdon

The Pacers Report

There is a piece that should be missing from the Pacers starting lineup come the trade deadline next month. That would be Domantas Sabonis. The big name heading into the trade deadline.

On the Suns J.A.M. Session podcast, John and have already mentioned the name a few times, but to destroy a great Suns core would be a disaster.

The Pacers are a team, only two years ago, that made the playoffs and seemed to be ahead of schedule. Lookin at the starting lineup above, you would think this team could at least hover around the .500 mark.

By looking at the numbers, the Pacers are a team that maintains hustle throughout a full game. Their league rank in opponents rebounds(6th) and assists(3rd) tells you a lot about a team. The motivation to keep a pace of play, offering themselves a chance to win every game by grabbing the extra board or focusing on on-ball defense is key, but the wins are not adding up.


The Suns Report

Do the Pacers have a mascot? Kidding, I think we have all heard enough about Devin Booker and the Raptors mascot.

Booker has been able to have his bounce back games this year after an off night against the Toronto Raptors. The offensive itself for the Suns is in good position to get back on track but it may be difficult inside. Going away from Booker, Ayton needs to get his feet back.

It is up to Ayton to control the game in the paint and to make an effort on defense early to take away any momentum the Pacers can gain in this game. Plus, have “max” Ayton back would be nice.

The minutes between Ayton, JaVale McGee, Jalen Smith, and Bismack Biyombo will be a thing to watch now and at what position they are playing.

For more Suns and league-wide trade rumors, listen right here for find ‘Suns Solar Panel’ in your go-to podcast app (subscribe/rate/review while you’re there)...


Prediction Time

Suns win... big!

The offense that was in question the last two games will come back to life. Even without Cam Johnson coming off the bench, it is all about the starters this game.