Feb 26, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Monta Ellis (11) and center Samuel Dalembert (1) defend against New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis (23) during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns host New Orleans Pelicans on ESPN, but stars could be side-lined


As the Phoenix Suns host New Orleans Friday night, the game which was supposed to feature emerging stars Goran Dragic and Anthony Davis on ESPN’s national platform, could end up with neither.

Phoenix is currently mired in a three-game losing streak, and need to get back in the win column against the Pelicans. The Dragon is a game-time decision, but is sure seems like the Suns need him to win games as seen by Wednesday’s horrible drubbing by the Utah Jazz. Apparently Dragic’s ankle still isn’t 100 percent healthy, but he could be the one thing that gets the Suns this victory. It still seems unlikely Dragic will play. A positive is that Leandro Barbosa will be available.

Unfortunately, On the other hand it looks like the Pelicans’ 20-year-old All-Star Anthony Davis will probably play. He hurt his shoulder against the Mavericks, but it’s just sore, and it looks like he’ll play.

The Suns really need this game. They have to stop this skid and Memphis is only half a game back of the eighth seed out West in the playoff race.

Key Matchup:

Eric Gordon versus Gerald Green. I was sort of surprised to see Eric Gordon on the Pelicans’ depth chart, since he is so often injured. But he against Green is a good matchup. Either one can catch fire and change the game. Of course Davis is more important to stop, but the Suns don’t want this to be Gordon’s breakout game or anything.

What the Suns offense needs to focus on:

If Davis does not play then… Drive, drive, drive to the basket! If he does play, try and get him in foul trouble by going right at him. In other facets of the offense work on limiting turnovers and bad shots. If they do that they can win, even without Dragic or Bledsoe in the game or Green catching fire. This injured Pelicans team isn’t elite, the Suns just have to play solid and not recklessly.

What the Suns defense need to watch out for:

The usual dribble penetration and just don’t give up easy interior baskets. That’s the way you win games.

Prediction:

Suns win 103-97 in an ugly game where Davis plays but Dragic does not.

Tags: Anthony Davis Basketball Eric Gordon Gerald Green NBA Phoenix Suns Suns