Dec 3, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Phoenix Suns center Miles Plumlee (22) drives to the basket against Memphis Grizzlies power forward Ed Davis (32) during the second half at FedExForum. Memphis Grizzlies beat the Phoenix Suns 110 - 91. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: Suns Open 2014 Against The Grizzlies

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2014 has arrived, and the Suns are looking to start it off with a win as they host the Memphis Grizzlies. Led my Mike Conley and Zach Randolph, but lacking big man Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies sit at 13-17, while the Suns come into the new year with a 19-111 record. Their last game, the Suns crushed the Clippers in Los Angeles. They hope to extend their win streak to three games tonight.

Key Matchup:

Goran Dragic versus Mike Conley. Both of these guards are very talented yet very underrated. Both have the ability to shoot well and find open teammates. For the Suns to win, Dragic has to restrict Conley’s ability to operate while also being aggressive and making Conley play defense. In games where DWhen Dragic plays as both a scorer and a passer, the SUns have a better chance of winning.

Key Stat:

Points in the Paint. Memphis doesn’t have a lot of perimeter shooters or guys good at spacing the floor, so the Suns will need to defend inside. They have struggled with that at times, but other times, Miles Plumlee and others have kept the interior on lockdown.

What the Suns offense needs to look for:

Points from anywhere they can be found. The Grizzlies defense is weakened without Gasol, so look for Plumlee inside. Also keep an eye out for perimeter shooters, because the fact that the Suns love to shoot a lot from deep is no secret. Find the weak spot, and exploit it to put up points.

What the Suns defense needs to look for:

Zach Randolph inside and Conley on the drive. Both of these guys are solid interior scorers, and Randolph can be a tough customer in the paint. The Suns have to lock down the interior and force Memphis into taking jumpers and three-pointers, which is something they sometimes struggle with. Also, don’t overlook Kosta Koufos as another inside threat\. Defensive priority #! is to secure the paint.

 

Prediction: Suns start of 2014 with a W as they beat the Grizzlies 106-96

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Tags: Basketball NBA Phoenix Suns Suns

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