When: 7:00 p.m. AZ time
Where: Footprint Center, Phoenix, AZ
Watch: Arizona’s Family 3TV
Listen: 98.7 FM
Tonight is the second game of a home-and-home baseball-style series against the San Antonio Spurs in Phoenix. Same teams, same court. This style was introduced a few years ago to reduce the amount of air travel the players had to endure, in hopes that they would use that extra rest (four days in one town!) to actually play more regular season games. That latter didn’t solve the ‘rest’, but the home-and-homes are here to stay I think.
So, here we are again, just like Tuesday. The Suns will tip off against the Spurs — the Phoenix Durants against the San Antonio Wembys. Boy was that game a tale of two halves huh? The Suns had an 18-point halftime lead, increased that momentarily to 20 in the third, but then the lead just started crumbling. The Suns led the game for literally 47 minutes and 58 seconds. The Spurs led for 2 seconds. But that two seconds were what mattered, and now both teams are 2-2 on the season.
Tonight, assuming Booker is still out (he’s a game-time decision, but shouldn’t be rushed until he’s right), the same teams will face off again. And this young group will get another chance to prove they’re not the worst 4th quarter team in history.
Suns: Devin Booker (left ankle sprain) has been upgraded to QUESTIONABLE. Bradley Beal (low back spasms) and Damion Lee (right meniscus surgery) are both OUT.
Spurs: Sidy Cissoko (G-League assignment), Sir’Jabari Rice (two-way), and Charles Bediako (two-way) are all listed as inactive.
(via NBA Lockervision)
What to Watch For
Lemme just throw this at you for stark contrast:
Suns stats after 4 games
- 3rd on offense
- 2nd on defense
- 2nd in net rating
- 4th in true shooting
- 8th on offense
- 26th on defense
- 17th in net rating
- 6th in true shooting
- 30th on offense
- 30th on net rating (10th on defense)
- 29th in TO%
- 30th in True Shooting
The Suns have led three times going into the fourth, and lost two of them. In those two losses, they led by 12+ points when the 4th started. Blech!!!!
Making it worse, those numbers INCLUDE Booker game they beat Golden State on the road.
Also, watch the the offensive effectiveness of Eric Gordon and Grayson Allen in the 4th. They’ve been great the first three quarters, but were both scoreless in the 4th quarter meltdowns against the Lakers and Spurs.
Keys to a Suns Win
Play better in the 4th. Please. Clearly, the Spurs won’t lay down because they already came back from the 20-point deficit two days ago. They’re brimming with confidence. No one’s giving the Suns this win. GOT TO TAKE IT.
I do think the Suns bounce back, with or without reinforcements. As for the Spurs, they’ve got good players, but it’s unlikely they can muster another 70-point second half again.
Suns win, 125-105.