The Phoenix Suns will take on the Washington Wizards tonight in what would be the first meeting between these two teams this season. Washington have been playing some solid basketball recently winning three of their lasts four games and they are fresh off 96 – 87 win against the New Orleans Hornets last night in Washington.
The Phoenix Suns on the other hand did not do so well last night as they fell to the Atlanta Hawks.
“(The turnovers were) pretty much the ballgame for us,” interim coach Lindsey Hunter said. “And some of our shots were like turnovers because they were pretty bad. On the road, you can’t turn the ball over and make mental mistakes defensively.”
Going into tonight’s match-up between the Suns and Wizards, the Wizards are the favorites by 6.5 margin according to ESPN.com. The Suns has Jermaine O’Neal Listed as day-to-day however O’Neal played last night and he’s expected to play again tonight; O’Neal started at center last night, it remains to be seen whether that will be the case tonight as well.
Washington has Bradley Beal, A.J Price And Trevor Ariza listed as day-to-day. Price and Beal did not play last night against the Hornets and are questionable for tonight’s game however Ariza is expected to play.
Keys to the game: Suns
- Turnovers! The turnovers were ultimately Phoenix’s Achilles’ heel last night as they coughed up the ball 24 times in the loss against Atlanta.
- Contain John Wall! Wall has been on a tear over the last three games averaging 26.3 points, 11 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 2.3 steals while shooting 59% from the field. Talk about being red hot!
- Three-point defense! The Wizards have shot the ball relatively well from beyond the arc this season as they’re shooting 36% from downtown.
Keys to the game: Wizards
- Stalk the passing lanes. The Phoenix Suns have been making sloppy passes all season long and chances are, that’s not going to change tomorrow night.
- Take care of the basketball. The Phoenix Suns may not be a good offensive team, however if the Wizards commit 20 turnovers tonight they may very well allow the Suns to steal one on their home floor. Case in point: The Hawks committed 20 turnovers in their win against the Suns last night, the Hawks should have won by MUCH more than 13.
- Fatigue. Both teams are playing the second game of a back-to-back and both teams will likely be a little bit winded tonight. However something tells me that Washington will probably feel a little better tonight as they’re coming off of a win at home and they all got to sleep their own beds last night.
- Goran Dragic vs. John Wall! Dragic will have one tough assignment tonight as Wall has been torching his defenders over his last three games. It looks like Wall has taken what NBA agent David Falk said to heart as Falk said in an interview recently that Wall will never be as good as Kyrie Irving was in his first week in the NBA.