The Suns held on in overtime to beat the Denver Nuggets 112-107 Tuesday night. The Suns were able to come away with the tough win even though they were outplayed in the paint. The Nuggets outscored the Suns 58 to 32 in the paint and led the way with 17 offensive rebounds to the Suns 15.
The 31-21 Suns host the 19-35 Boston Celtics who have to look forward to the offseason if they want to feel good about the future of the team. They come into Wednesday night’s game coming off a loss to the San Antonio Spurs last Wednesday 92-104. On a positive note, the Celtics have won four of their last seven games.
Goran Dragić versus Rajon Rondo. Dragić continues to be the catalyst for the offense on most nights. His contribution tonight on the backend of a back-to-back night will be the key in the Suns chances for victory. Rajon Rondo is back and will have to be the offensive force he was prior to his injury if the Celtics hope to be competitive for the remainder of the season.
Turnovers. The Suns will need to pressure this Celtics team in order to win on the defensive end. The key will be forcing them into mistakes that will lead to easy breakaway opportunities and easy baskets. Easy baskets will be important after a game the night before that went into overtime. The Suns will be tired and the Celtics come into tonight’s game having been off for seven days.
What the Suns offense needs to look for:
Second-chance points. The Suns won the game against the Nuggets because they were able to get more opportunities at the basket, which eventually led to the slight lead in overtime that ended up sealing the deal for the Suns.
What the Suns defense needs to look out for:
Harass Rajon Rondo. Rondo is coming off an injury and is still not at 100 percent. The Suns should pressure Rondo at every opportunity and let the other Celtics beat the Suns. If the Suns can shut out Rondo then they will have an easier time keeping the scoring down in this contest.
Boston Celtic sleeper to have a good game:
Rookie center Kelly Olynyk has been solid in his rookie campaign. In last week’s game against the San Antonio Spurs Olynyk played 31 minutes and had a respectable 15-point, 10 rebound performance in that time. Olynyk shot over 50 percent from the field and added a block and two assists to his total. His presence can be disruptive especially under the boards.
Prediction: The Suns hold on to beat the Celtics 107-99.