Gametime: 9:00 p.m.
I'm not sure there's a team a top seed in the West would hate to see in the first round more than the Suns. Expected to be fighting in the great draft tank, the Suns have had a stark turnaround instilled by a two major additions.
The first is Eric Bledsoe, who has unfortunately been sidelined recovering from knee surgery and will be out for much, if not all, of the rest of the season.
The second is coach Jeff Hornacek. He's got Phoenix's finest scoring efficiently, hitting a terrific percentage of both their shots inside the arc but also from behind it. The Suns move the ball well in transition and can push the pace with ease.
Goran Dragic has been admirably dissecting teams off the dribble by himself without Eric Bledsoe as his backcourt partner, but the Suns have four other players who average double-digit scoring (five including Bledsoe). This scoring balance gives Phoenix extra insurance if one of their better scorers are having a tough game.
The Suns are currently on a four-game win streak in which they ground up Eastern Conference teams on the road without too much difficulty: Cavs by nine, 76ers by 11, Bucks by nine and Pacers by eight. And lest you think beating the Pacers in the Fieldhouse is some fluke, it was only Indiana's second loss at home of the year. And this was the second time the Suns beat the Pacers, all within a matter of eight days -- and the first game was a 24-point drubbing.
Make no buts about it, this Suns team is dangerous, even without Eric Bledsoe.