Life for Phoenix Suns players and Phoenix Suns fans are tough these days, but let’s face it most of us saw this coming after we discovered that Steve Nash was headed for L.A to join forces with Lakers.
The Suns have lost 6 straight games and will not only look to snap their losing streak against Orlando tonight but at the same time redeem themselves after losing 94-115 when they played Orlando a few weeks ago.
As awful as the Suns have been, Orlando aren’t exactly sitting pretty neither. The Orlando Magic have lost 2 straight games and are currently 3-7 on the road coming into tonight’s game against the Suns.
Going into tonight’s game the Suns are the favorite by a margin of 4.5 points according to ESPN.com. The Orlando Magic currently has no one on the injured list however former Sun, Hedo Turkoglu won’t be playing as he’s out with a hand injury; Turkoglu has only played in 1 game this season. The Suns still has Sebastian Telfair, Jermaine O’Neal, and P.J Tucker on their injured list listed as day-to-day however only Tucker is expected to miss tonight’s game with an MCL sprain.
Keys to the game: Suns
– Play 48 minutes. The Suns lost their last game to the Clippers not because they lost the game but rather they lost the 4th quarter, and a similar situation took place in Orlando when they got blown out back in early November by 21 points when the Suns lost control of the 3rd quarter and allowed Orlando to outscore them in the 3rd period 40-20.
– Guard the three point line! Please! This Magic team are far from an offensive juggernaut but they can get hot in a hurry especially with gunners like J.J Redick, and Arron Afflalo on their squad. Redick and Afflalo combined to score 46 points and making 6 3-pointers the last time these two teams played.
– Attack the paint all game long. This Magic team is ranked 23rd in blocks per game so there is really no reason to settle for jumpers when these guys are such little threats to block your shot.
Keys to the game: Magic
– Add fuel to the fire. The Suns love to push the ball and if I were Jacque Vaughn head coach of the Magic, I’d encourage my players to make the Suns play that way all night long. The Magic are far better equipped to play that style than the Suns are right now and personally if I had to pick one of these two teams to play a run and gun style of basketball, I’d pick Orlando.
– Feed the baby! Big baby Glen Davis has been terrific for the Magic this season. In the month of December, Davis is averaging 21.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game while shooting 47% from the field. Against a Suns team that’s allowed over 103.3 points per game on the season, Davis could be headed for a big night.
– Rebounding. The Magic may not have great size when it comes to their big guys but the Magic are a good rebounding team, they’re ranked 9th in the NBA in rebounds this season led by Nikola Vucevic’s 8.9 rebounds per game; Vucevic is having a solid sophomore season with the Magic after coming to Orlando as apart of the Dwight Howard deal. The Suns big guys on the other hand, has the size, has the length, has the talent but it hasn’t materialized into anything. The Suns were a good rebounding team earlier this season but they’re currently sitting at the 22nd spot in the NBA in terms of rebounding.
Match-up of the night!
– A great match-up to watch for in this game is the match-up between Markieff Morris/Luis Scola vs. Big baby Glen Davis. Davis is far from a flashy guy but personally, I love watching the guy play, he hustles, he’s tough and he plays with relentless energy; Morris can learn a thing or two from him. Markieff Morris who had a career night on Thursday against Dallas struggled a bit against the Clippers posting only 13 points and 6 rebounds in 30 minutes.