When: 8:00 PM AZ Time
Where: Footprint Center, Phoenix, AZ
Watch: Bally Sports Arizona, ESPN
Listen: 98.7 FM
The Phoenix Suns are set to host the Atlanta Hawks in a Wednesday night showcase on ESPN at 8 pm. This will be the first meeting between these clubs this season.
The Suns have won four of their last five games (since CP3’s return) while the Hawks are trending in the other direction dropping four of their last five contests.
Join us tonight for Black Excellence Night, Presented by @Opendoor!— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) February 1, 2023
8 PM | Pregame at 7:30
@AZSports | @az_mejor
Don’t let Atlanta’s record fool you.
They’ve dealt with quite a few injuries to key rotation players throughout the season, but they are finally on track with essentially all of their key pieces back in the rotation. Trae Young (who missed Monday’s contest against Portland) is listed as probable.
The Suns will have to do all they can to slow down the electric Young/Murray backcourt for a chance to win this one.
Projected Starting Lineups
- Deandre Ayton
- Cam Johnson
- Torrey Craig
- Mikal Bridges
- Chris Paul
- Clint Capela
- John Collins
- De’Andre Hunter
- Dejounte Murray
- Trae Young
- Devin Booker (OUT)
- Landry Shamet (OUT)
- Cam Payne (OUT)
- Jae Crowder (AT HOME)
- Trae Young (PROBABLE)
Atlanta is fresh off a tough loss in Portland on Monday night, falling to the Blazers 129-125 led by a 40-point outburst from Dejounte Murray in a losing effort.
The Hawks are back to full strength after dealing with various impactful injuries throughout the season. Phoenix and Atlanta each have several key pieces working their way back into the rotation looking to regain their legs and team chemistry after lengthy absences.
Atlanta is 9th in the NBA in scoring, averaging 116.2 points per game, though their offensive rating doesn’t align as they sit 14th in that category (113.5).
The Hawks are 10th in pace while Phoenix ranks 22nd, so the key for the Suns will be to slow Atlanta down a bit, especially in transition where they are dangerous.
The Clint Capela vs. Deandre Ayton battle down low will be a matchup to watch, and with how Atlanta plays with two bigs (Collins) the Suns will need to be extra active on the glass tonight.
Phoenix’s recent surge has them in an excellent position to shoot themselves right up to the top half of the Western Conference as long as they can remain relatively healthy upon Booker’s return.
It starts with winning at home. Atlanta is a tough challenge that the Suns could struggle to keep up with offensively with Booker out, but if they bring it defensively they are more than capable of winning the game.
Phoenix is now 9th in the NBA in net rating, sitting at +1.6 as their offense continues to creep up after a rough stretch.
Mikal Bridges has been on a tear of late and the Suns have needed every bit of it. In his last nine contests, he has put up 23.0 points, 5.2 assists, and 1.7 steals on 50/43/91 shooting splits. Just absurd production and efficiency from the Villanova product.
Mikal has been on FIRE over the past 9 games!— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) January 31, 2023
91.7% FT pic.twitter.com/TaPhbf97T0
Chris Paul’s return has been monumental for the Suns, mainly because he looks like Chris Paul again.
Since returning, the Point God is averaging 21.6 points, 10.4 assists, 5.6 rebounds, 1.0 steal, 1.0 block, on 54/46/100 shooting splits. Phoenix is 4-1 in those five games.
The Suns take care of business led by a monster game from Cam Johnson. I’ll shoot my shot and say he goes for 36 in a bounce-back game. Why not?