The Phoenix Suns for the second time this season has had a losing streak of 6 or longer. That type of losing hasn’t been seen in the valley of the Suns in nearly a decade.
The last time the Suns lost 6 straight games more than once during the course of a single season was all the way back during the 2003-2004 season before the Steve Nash era. This season many of the things that didn’t happen while Nash was running the show for the Suns seems to happening for the first time in a long time, in particular LOSING! Losing bad.
The Phoenix Suns are set to take on the Philadelphia 76ers tonight in what would be the 1st game of a 3 game home stand. The Suns has been relatively decent at home this season owning a 9-7 home record and the Suns are the favorite by a 4.5 margin going into tonight’s game according to ESPN.com.
Philadelphia will be playing on the end of a back-to-back set as they fresh a win against the Lakers last night winning the contest 103-99. Philadelphia has former Suns guard Jason Richardson listed as day-to-day on the injured list(he played last night) while the Suns has Jermaine O’Neal along with Goran Dragic on the injured list labeled as day-to-day but neither are expected to miss the game.
Keys to the game: Suns
– Force the 76ers to play one-on-one ball. Philadelphia has two primary play-makers in that starting line-up point guard Jrue Holiday, and swingman Evan Turner, both guys are great at get their own buckets as well as get buckets for others. Philadelphia seems to be at their best when both guys are in the grove and getting the entire team involved; Holiday is having a breakout season averaging by far career high 9 assist per game, while Evans averages 4.3 per contest. The Suns should find a lot of success if they can force Philadelphia into playing a lot of one-on-ones.
– Seven seconds or less! The Suns need to push the pace against the 76ers. The 76ers are 7th best in the NBA in points per game allowed despite being unimpressive in terms of shot blocking and steals. The 76ers thrive defensively when they get set, if the Suns shoot early and make this a up and down game they should be able to find some form of success offensively, and hey, Philadelphia is fresh off a tight contest with the Lakers just less than 24 hours ago…
– Move the ball! The Suns shooting 45% from the field overall but shoot nearly 49% on assisted field goals. If the Suns want to start winning, they need to start moving the ball.
Keys to the game: Philadelphia
– Shooters are you ready? The Suns are by far the NBA worst in 3-point defense allowing opponents to shoot over 40% from 3-point land on the season. Philadelphia has some terrific outside snipers in their rotation, between Nick Young, Jrue Holiday and Jason Richardson it’s could be raining long shots all night for the 76ers.
– Get Evan Turner rolling. Much like Goran Dragic for the Suns, good play from Turner almost directly correlates to wins for Philadelphia. Get Turner rolling, and the 76ers should be rolling along with him.
– Confidence. The Suns are not a very confident group right now due to two major factors, lack of veteran leadership, and just flat-out too many losses. However it is a brand new year so perhaps the Suns will right the ship. The Sixers on the other hand are probably feeling pretty good about themselves after getting a win against Lakers just last night.
Match-up Of The Night!
– It’s gotta be the battle of the point guards tomorrow night as the rising star Jrue Holiday takes the court against Goran Dragic. Dragic since his return from that hip injury is averaging 16 points and 10 assists in the last two games, but despite Dragic’s steady performance the Suns failed to get wins.