Time: 7 p.m. MST
TV: FSAThe Phoenix Suns are on their first five-game winning streak since January of 2011 and hope to extend that to six games tonight against the San Antonio Spurs. A win tonight would make it their longest winning streak since they won 10 straight in March and April of 2010.
The task will be tough for the surprising Suns as they host a 19-5 Spurs team that is coming off a 115-92 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night. The defending Western Conference Champions have yet to loss back-to-back games this season, but will be without their All-Star point guard Tony Parker, who left Monday’s game with a right shin contusion and has been ruled out two games.
The Spurs defeated the Suns 99-96 during the first week of the season in San Antonio but the Suns were without Goran Dragic for that game. Jeff Hornacek mentioned after practice Tuesday that the team felt like it let that game get away and are excited to get another chance at them.
Does Goran Dragic make a difference?
The Spurs were able to hold off the Suns in the final minutes of their 99-96 win and held Phoenix to just five points in the final 2:48 of that game. You would figure that having Dragic that night would have changed the outcome in their favor. The Dragon is averaging 19.1 points per game and has led the team in scoring in two of their last three wins.
How do the Suns handle a brighter spotlight?
The Suns are becoming the leagues darling team through the first 23 games by surpassing just about everyone’s expectations. With that success comes more pressure to keep winning games. It also means a greater media presence nationally.
Tonight is another chance against a high profile team to make a mark around the league. The Spurs have not lost back-to-back games this season and will give the Suns their biggest punch, with or without Parker. With so much praise being given to such a young team, a let-down of some sort is almost inevitable. Can they avoid that let-down and shine bright against the conference champs?
Do the Suns control the boards?
One of the few struggles of this team has been rebounding the basketball. The Suns are 21st in the NBA averaging 41.9 rebounds per game and have struggled in the past few games controlling the boards. Wednesday night gives them a good chance to get back on track against a mediocre rebounding team. In fact, the Spurs are ranked second-to-last in the league in offensive rebounding, so there should be no excuses for them to not out-rebound the Spurs.