When: 9:00 pm EST
Where: Phoenix Suns Arena; Phoenix, Arizona
How to watch: Fox Sports South, NBA League Pass
The Charlotte Hornets roll into Phoenix to face a hot Suns team that has won nine of their last ten games and are currently on a three-game win streak.
Who are the Suns?
The Suns are a very balanced team ranking inside the top ten in Offensive and Defensive efficiency in the league. They are one of only three teams in the league that rank inside the top ten in both, alongside Utah and Milwaukee.
The Suns offense likes to attack from the perimeter, 36% of Phoenix’s points this season are generated from their three-point shooting, that’s good for 10th highest in the NBA. While they rank 27th in points scored in the paint.
The Suns roster is filled with young talent from top to bottom that can play. The Suns are led by their star guard Devin Booker who is averaging 24.7 ppg on a 60% TS.
Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton are ones to watch also as they are able to impact the game from both ends. Bridges offers good size and shooting, The third-year forward is having the best year of his young NBA career, posting career highs in almost every statistical category and Deandre Ayton who is rock steady averaging a double-double, 13.9 ppg and 11.9 rpg, while giving the Suns solid defense on the other end.
The cog in this machine is PG Chris Paul who has quickly become a leader for this young Suns team and currently leads the team in assist with 8.5 apg. Chris Paul is off to a great start in his Suns career with another All-Star game bid and helping propel this Sun team firmly into the 4th spot in the Western Conference standings.
How Can They Win?
The Hornets are looking to get back on track after a tough loss to the Utah Jazz a game that was closer for the most part than the score indicated. Charlotte might be short-handed tonight as Gordon Hayward was listed as questionable with a hand injury he suffered Monday against the Utah Jazz. And Devonta Graham who has missed the last two games now with knee discomfort.
The Hornets have to continue doing what’s won them games all season and that’s consistent ball movement. Borrego’s offense has been inside the top 3 in assist per game throughout the season, the offense is at its best when there are multiple scoring threats to choose from. With Gordon Hayward most likely not available tonight and Devonta Graham ruled out the best way to attack is by committee and not getting caught up too much in isolation opportunities.
Charlotte’s defense has been up and down all year. If they can find some consistency in this game, they have a good chance in grabbing the upset. Charlotte’s defense is allowing 15.3 three-pointers made a game that’s almost dead last at 29th in the NBA. The Hornets have to clean up the mental lapse in perimeter defense and limit the three-point shooting for Phoenix if they want to be competitive in this one.