The Phoenix Suns (1-3) are set to square off against the Charlotte Bobcats (1-1) on Wednesday to close out their annual east coast road trip before heading back to the valley of the Suns to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night.
The Suns have dropped their last 3 games including 2 on this trip to the Orlando Magic and the defending champion Miami Heat. It’s important the Suns end this trip with a win to regain some sort of momentum after 2 very tough losses.
The Bobcats have shown themselves as tough customers this season as they beat the Indiana Pacers to begin their season. The Suns are a 2.5 point favorite heading into this match-up according to ESPN.com. The Bobcats have 2 players questionable for tomorrow night’s game, shooting guard Gerald Henderson and combo forward Tyrus Thomas.
Keys to the game: Suns
The Bobcats are a young, inexperienced team however they play that hardnosed style of basketball. The Suns need to keep the Bobcats out of the paint as the Bobcats thrive around the basket. Kemba Walker scored 30 points against the Pacers in the Bobcat’s opener and shot 9 of 13 near the rim. The Suns will also need to limit the Bobcat’s second chance points, it’s not difficult to defend against this offensively limited Bobcat’s team but the Suns need to limit Charlotte to one shot per possession. Offensively the Suns need to pound the ball inside. The Bobcats has no defensive presence in the post and the Suns need to take advantage of that by using Luis Scola and Marcin Gortat to attack the Bobcat’s interior defense.
Keys to the game: Bobcats
If the Bobcats are to win this game they will need to shoot the ball well. The Bobcats are tied for 24th in 3-point percentage this season so they need to shoot well so the Suns don’t load up in the paint on them.
The X-Factor in this game belongs to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist who was the 2nd overall pick in this year’s NBA draft. MKG has underperformed in his first couple games and as you saw from Dion Waiters a couple nights ago who exploded for 28 points, MKG can very well do the same. MKG’s hustle, energy and motor can be a huge spark plug for the Bobcats and MKG is very capable of making 2 or 3 momentum changing plays throughout a game as many of you saw him do back in college.
Match-up of the night: Goran Dragic vs. Kemba Walker
This is going to be the match-up to watch for this game. Walker is in his second year in the league and is ready to have a breakout sophomore year. Walker dropped 30 points in the Bobcat’s opener on a very talented Pacers team. Dragic on the other hand has also had a fine season but after struggling in the past 2 games he will look to redeem himself against the sophomore Walker and his young squad.