Preview: Phoenix Suns (24-18) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (16-27)


Time: 4 p.m. MST

TV: FSA

Cavaliers

Cavaliers

Suns

Suns

The Phoenix Suns start a four-game, five-day road trip against a resurgent Cleveland Cavaliers team that is 5-4 since trading for Luol Deng. Cleveland is currently a game and a half back from the Charlotte Bobcats for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Despite the poor record, this team has a bevy of talent that hasn’t meshed under first-year coach Mike Brown. Whether it be chemistry issues or players not living up to expectations, something has been missing. The Cavs have slowly started turning things around since trading for Deng and they should still make the playoffs for the first time since “The Decision” due to playing in the down Eastern Conference.

Phoenix, meanwhile, has turned into a hit-or-miss team since Eric Bledsoe went down with his injury. One night, the Suns are stomping on the Indiana Pacers, and the next night they’re losing a turnover-filled game to the Washington Wizards. The key for the Suns is limiting turnovers (obviously) which they didn’t do on Friday night. And they need to play at the pace we saw them play against the Pacers on Wednesday.

What should we be looking for as the Suns start the road trip with a win?

Can the Suns clean things up?

Friday’s game against the Wizards was one of the sloppier performances of the year. The team committed 21 turnovers that led to 26 points. In the two games prior, they turned the ball over 19 times combined and won. After the performance on Wednesday, you could feel a letdown coming from the Suns, but I did not expect the game to be that sloppy.

Does Anderson Varejao run wild?

Varejao has gone back to playing the kind of “Andy” ball that makes him a nightly double-double machine.  He has had rebounding games of 25, 21 and 18 this month and is averaging over 14 rebounds per game. The Cavs could make it a disaster for poor-rebounding Suns if Varejao is running the offense glass. The Suns do have a big man themselves that can match Varejao’s activity in Miles Plumlee; it will be crucial that he has an effective game and at the very least keep Varejao off the glass.

The Dragon vs Uncle Drew, who has the better night?

We are in for a treat this afternoon, getting to watch All-Star starting point guard Kyrie Irving. “Uncle Drew” is averaging 21.4 points per game to go along with 6.2 assists and is the guy that makes the Cavaliers go. Goran Dragic has a chance to make a statement for his own All-Star game bid tonight against one of the best in the league. Even though Dragic recorded a double-double on Friday, he did not have his best game. He committed four turnovers and did not score in the fourth quarter. It is more important to the Suns than the Cavaliers for their point guard to play well in order to win.

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Phoenix Suns

  • SarverHater22

    the Suns are up against David Stern’s pet charity case : Cavs

  • Scott

    Miles Plumlee is getting a great education this year. Big minutes, going up against starters … he’s already learned a lot.

    He’s going to be even better next season, I imagine. :)

  • EBJM

    Frye will be matched with Thompson who puts up 12/10 for only $4 million per.

    Grizzlies have Marc Gasol back and picked up James Johnson off the scrap heap for $700,000 and gets you only one less board than Frye in less minutes. Grizzlies are 8-2 in the last ten and have almost caught the Suns.

    Spurs picked up Jeff Pendergraph (Ayres) off the scrap heap for $1.8 million and he gets them 4 boards in less than 14 minutes.

    MUST trade Frye and his $6.4 million for a stud PF who isn’t afraid to rebound the ball!!!!

    Go SUNS!!!!!

  • EBJM

    Frye the longest player on the court most nights shoots more three-point spots than two-point shots!

    MUST trade Frye for a stud PF who can score at the rim!

    Go SUNS!!!!!

  • EBJM

    The Kings Jason Thompson is the only starting PF in the Western Conference that plays smaller than Frye!

    MUST trade Frye at the trade deadline for the Suns to get out of the 1st rd of the playoffs!!!!

    Go SUNS!!!!!

  • EBJM

    MUST trade Frye!!!!!

    Go SUNS!!!!!

  • DZ

    Quit beating around the bush, EBJM, and tell us what you really think of Frye. ;)

    In my opinion, Frye could be one of the best backup PFs in the NBA. He is a good player, just not good enough to be a first team player.

  • EBJM

    DZ, I don’t dislike Frye, only those who think he is currently the Suns best player and that his 2-3 three-point shots per game is the sole reason for their success.

    than not recognizing his lack of rebounding is what is killing Phoenix.

    The Grizzlies Ed Davis has killed phoenix both times they have met this season and now with Marc back and the signing of James Johnson he has been pushed out of the rotation.

    The Warriors signed former Grizzlies Marreese Speights to be their first big off the bench and he is only playing 12 minutes per game because of their depth.

    Two players on contenders so deep that their garbage time players kill Frye.

    Pathetic.

    Yes, I said the Grizzlies are contenders. Marc Gasol is back, James Johnson is playing well for them and Courtney Lee is playing better than Bayliss who they dumped. Jon Leuer who lit up Phoenix now sits at the end of their bench next to Davis

  • CART jeff

    Frye is a NBA talent. A tweener PF/SF, can be a matchup nightmare. Tucker is the overachiever, does not have NBA length, poor ball skills and the form on his shot is not good. But he plays with energy, football mentality and is thick. If both are not hitting from outside, they need need to adjust lineup and finish game with one or both on bench.

  • DZ

    Lol. I know that you don’t really dislike Frye, EBJM, and I do know the reason behind your comments and the “style” in which they were written.

    The Suns must move forward to get better, not backward (as some seem to think).

  • EBJM

    Right on cue, Suns behind a few baskets and Frye has taken 6 three-pointers to only two from inside the arc. He has 3 boards while his man Thompson has 12/10.

    MUST trade Frye to move FORWARD!!!!!

    Go SUNS!!!!

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  • BCrayZ

    MUST trade EBJM for someone with a hoop mind.

    Good thing Frye shot those 3-pointers when he was open. Who else made more than half of their shots from deep on our team?

    Some people would rather see us lose. Frye was plus 14 (+/-) for the game. Next best to Gogi’s +16. Best bench contributor was Barbosa at plus 6. Mark scored lots of points off the bench & grabbed lots of boards but was a minus 3 for the game. Time for EBJM to learn how to add & subtract. These skills will help him in life. Need to maximize Barbosa’s contribution to take some scoring load from Gogi. Make it so Jeff.

    MUST start & ALSO finish with LB. Let’s go SUNS!!!!