Feb 28, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns power forward Markieff Morris (11) reacts after drawing a charging foul against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at US Airways Center. The Phoenix Suns won the game 116-104. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns host Atlanta Hawks, depleted teams face off

Well, let’s hope Dragic’s ankle is hurt more often. Not really, but on a somewhat hurt ankle, Dragic scored a career-high 40 points, let’s see what he can do for an encore as the Phoenix Suns host Atlanta Sunday night.

While Phoenix awaits the return of the dynamic Bledsoe, the Hawks have worse issues as Al Horford has been out for months and Paul Millsap has been missing games recently. Those were their two best players. Without those two All-Stars they’ve been slipping in the standings out East.

The Suns haven’t really slipped in the standings as they’re still sitting in eighth place, but when they get back Bledsoe, they could really go on a run. The super optimistic plan would hope for home court in the first round if they finish with a better record than the Warriors and Clippers.

This game is important to win because the next four games are against LAC, OKC, GS, LAC. They want to get a couple more wins under their belt before they enter the Western Conference gauntlet.

Key Matchup:

Elton Brand versus Miles Plumlee. This center matchup will be key, if not to determine tonight’s winner, but going forward for Plumlee’s confidence. Brand is was a good player, especially down in the post. But he’s much older now, and Plumlee’s athleticism will dominate this matchup. He needs to take advantage and improve his offensive game, because the Suns will need him for their stretch run to the playoffs.

What the Suns offense needs to focus on:

Get in the offensive flow. Get out in transition. Take care of the ball. Then you can win the game.

What the Suns defense needs to watch out for:

Just don’t let Kyle Korver hit too many three-pointers. Other than that, just play solid defense and don’t give up too many transition buckets.

Prediction:

Suns win 111-97

 

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Tags: Basketball Elton Brand Eric Bledsoe Game Previews Goran Dragic NBA Paul Millsap Phoenix Suns Suns

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