Time: 5 p.m. MST
The Phoenix Suns finish off their mini two-game home stand Sunday night against the New Orleans Pelicans — a team they beat 104-98 just five days ago.
New Orleans changed its name, its logo, its mascot, its point guard and notable components of its bench, yet its greatest asset might be second-year power forward Anthony Davis, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Davis, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 Draft, is coming off a career performance in which he had 32 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks and three assists in a 96-85 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Pelicans are riding their first two-game win streak into town.
It’ll be a matchup of familiar foes, and while familiarity might not breed contempt just yet when it comes to these two squads, will it breed a different result from Tuesday night?
Here are the three big questions to keep in mind when these two face off.
Can Channing Frye finally get off the schneid?
First things first, just the mere fact that Channing Frye is back out on the court a year after being diagnosed with an enlarged heart is a success story in and off itself. That much should not be ignored.
With that said, the NBA — like all professional sports — is a result driven business and in that sense, it’s been hard to watch Frye struggle the way he has during his comeback – especially at the offensive end.
When his shot is on — like it was (19 points on 7-of-14 shooting) in the 103-96 loss to the Thunder — it’s absolutely thing of beauty. The problem for the former UA standout, though, is that’s rarely been the case so far in 2013-14.
It’s very early, but Frye is shooting an alarming 35.4 percent from the floor and 27.3 percent from three-point range. More importantly, he just has the look of a guy who simply isn’t releasing the ball with a lot of confidence right now.
Jeff Hornacek continues to trot him out with the starters in an effort to try and help him work through his early-season shooting woes, but with Markieff Morris playing the way he has of late, there might be a lineup switch on the horizon.
Over/Under 17 rebounds for the Morris Twins?
There’s a saying that once is chance, twice is coincidence and three times is a pattern.
With that in mind, are Marcus and Markieff Morris finally starting to realize their potential right before our very eyes, off the bench no less?
Somewhere former GM Lance Blanks is smiling and nodding his head in the affirmative.
The Morris Twins have strung together three straight impressive performances (33 points and 14 rebounds at New Orleans, 34 points and 18 rebounds at San Antonio and 39 points and 18 rebounds vs. Denver) and are a big reason why the Suns are off to a surprising 4-2 start.
While the bench points have certainly been a welcomed sight, their activity on the glass (16.6 rebounds in the last three games) might just be the biggest development in their respective games.
Can they continue the trend against Anthony Davis and Co.?
How will both teams fare from distance?
The teams’ first meeting in the Big Easy was ultimately decided by the Suns’ 37-point third quarter — a frame in which they connected on seven three-point attempts. But it’s actually the Pelicans who lead the league in three-point percentage (46.1).
New Orleans is averaging 11 less attempts than Phoenix from downtown in 2013-14, but they are 10 percent more efficient. With that said, the Suns have been scorching the nets of late, hitting on 28 three-point field goals this week alone.
In a battle of quantity vs. quality, who proves to be more effective from downtown?
Suns point guard Goran Dragic’s status for Sunday night’s game is unknown as of 11 a.m. MST. Dragic has missed the past three games due to a left ankle injury he sustained in the team’s 103-96 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder last Sunday. In Phoenix’s first contest against New Orleans, Eric Bledsoe and Ish Smith were terrific, combining for 27 points, 13 assists and three steals. Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday, however, had his worst night of the young campaign, scoring three points on 1-of-7 shooting.