Game Preview: Phoenix Suns(17-35) vs. Los Angeles Lakers(24-28)

Jan. 30, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash (10) greets Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley at the US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Poor Steve Nash, losing seem to follow that man as of late, from the deserts of Phoenix to the bright lights of Los Angeles. Steve Nash’s Lakers are having an absolutely miserable season considering the amount of talent that exists on that roster. The Lakers are 24-28 on the season having lost two of their last three games and are currently 3 1/2 games out of the 8th playoff spot.

Things aren’t looking so bright for the Phoenix Suns neither. The Suns has finally hit rock bottom in the Western Conference standings and own the fifth worst overall record in the NBA. The Suns picked up a great road win against the Memphis Grizzlies on February 5th but have since lost three straight games by an average of nearly 24 points per contest.

The Suns are now treading into enemy territory tonight as they’ll take on the Lakers in LA. The last time these two teams played the Suns beat the Lakers in Phoenix by the final score of 92 – 86 in what was the homecoming for the great former Sun Steve Nash.

Heading into tonight’s match-up between the Suns and the Lakers, the Lakers are the favorite by a 9.0 margin according to ESPN.com. The Suns are currently injury free while the Lakers has both Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol listed as out although Gasol will indeed be out, Dwight Howard is expect to play as he’s done so the past three games.

Keys to the game: Suns

- Defend the three point line! everyone knows how much a Mike D’Antoni team loves to launch those three-pointers.

- Rebounding. The Miami Heat are near the bottom in the NBA this season in terms of rebounds but they were able to out rebound the Lakers 38 to 29 in their 107–97 win.

- Don’t turn the ball over! In the two back to back pounding the Suns took at the hands of Oklahoma City, the Phoenix Suns turned the ball over 40 times in the two games leading to 53 points for the Thunder.

Keys to the game: Lakers

- Transition defense! According to teamrankings.com the Lakers are dead last in the NBA allowing 16 fast-break points per game and have allowed nearly 22 fast-break points on average in their last three contests.

- Ball movement. The Lakers has absolutely been atrocious on offense this season when there’s little ball movement on offense.

The X-Factor!

- Lakers vs. Lakers. There’s no denying how mightily the Lakers are struggling right now but for the most part this season, the Lakers have been their own worst enemy. If the Lakers don’t beat themselves by playing selfishly, turning the ball over, and play lackadaisical defense, they can compete with anyone in the NBA and they showed that on Sunday for three quarters against the defending champion Miami Heat.

Match-up of the night! 

- Master vs. Pupil! Dragic vs. Nash! Last time these two guys played, Dragic got the better of Nash. Dragic scored 11 points and dished out eight assists while Nash recorded merely 11 points and two assists.

Topics: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, Phoenix Suns

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