Who: Phoenix Suns (21-18) vs. Sacramento Kings (23-16)
When: Tuesday, January 16, – at 7:00 p.m. AZ Time
Where: Footprint Center, Phoenix, AZ
Watch: Arizona’s Family 3TV
Listen: KMVP 98.7 FM
It’s felt like a quiet week of Suns basketball. Partly due to them only playing two games since January 8th and partly due to them taking care of business without any significant injuries or unneeded drama.
Bradley Beal’s offensive chops have been on full display as of late. The three-time all-star has gone an efficient 23/34 in his last two contests from the field and an absurd 12/16 from three.
Bradley Beal in his bag tonight.— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) January 12, 2024
Season-high 31 (6-of-8 from 3).
Suns 103-73 with 1:07 left in 3rd. pic.twitter.com/p6HP2yEI5D
His two most recent performances represent the type of player Phoenix thought they were getting when they traded for him this past summer. He looks more comfortable playing next to Devin Booker and Kevin Durant.
The improved play by Beal has been a product of him consistently being in the lineup. He’s now played nine straight games and has eclipsed at least 29 minutes in all of them.
If Beal can keep this up, it will force teams to guard him more closely, opening up opportunities for Booker and Durant to get easier shots and make plays for others.
The more that the Suns’ offense can be unlocked, the more they will be able to figure out their late-game offensive flaws, which have plagued them so far this season and affected their win total tremendously.
In a game against the eighth-ranked offense in points per game, the Valley will need to be able to put up points at will to beat Sacramento.
- Bradley Beal
- Devin Booker
- Grayson Allen
- Kevin Durant
- Jusuf Nurkić
- De’Aaron Fox
- Kevin Huerter
- Harrison Barnes
- Keegan Murray
- Domantas Sabonis
Bol Bol – OUT (Injury/Illness - Right Foot Sprain)
Damion Lee – OUT (Injury/Illness - Right Meniscus Surgery)
Jordan Ford – OUT (G League - Two-Way)
Colby Jones – OUT (G League - On Assignment)
Keegan Murray – QUESTIONABLE (Right Hip Irritation)
Jalen Slawson – OUT (G League - Two-Way)
What to Watch For
Aggressive energy out of the gate from both teams.
Despite winning by double digits against the Trail Blazers on Sunday, Phoenix trailed 33-31 after the first quarter. Starting strong will not only help the Suns compete with the highly dynamic Sacramento offense but also assist them in having a well-rounded performance. The intensity needs to be more consistent.
Expect Sacramento to come into the contest with a fiery, hungry mentality after losing devastatingly to the Bucks on Sunday in overtime.
No team, especially a well-coached one like the Kings is going to be content after a heartbreaking loss like that. Sacramento will be looking to avenge themselves and will try their best to take it out on Phoenix.
The Suns know this and will try and adjust accordingly.
Key to a Suns Win
Per StatMuse, this season the Kings are allowing the third most threes made per game to their opponents with 15.0. In two matchups against the Kings this year, the Suns have connected on just 28.1 percent of their triples. With the Big Three in the lineup for the first time against the Kings this year, the Suns need to find a way to take advantage of Sacramento’s defensive perimeter woes and connect on more triples.
If Beal, Booker, and Durant start making it from downtown, potentially more looks will be created for the rest of the team; including Grayson Allen, who hit 4/6 threes last game on his way to 20 points.
Continuity remains an important key to success for the Suns. The last few games have started to show who they really can be when they are clicking and healthy. While the Kings offense is high-powered, the Suns have a squad that can go toe to toe with it. Sacramento has lost three of its last five with the only wins coming against the Pistons and the Hornets, two of the NBA’s worst teams. Give me the Suns by double digits.
Suns 131, Kings 119