Mar 2, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns shooting guard Goran Dragic (1) dribbles past Atlanta Hawks power forward Mike Scott (32) and Atlanta Hawks small forward DeMarre Carroll (5) in the second half at US Airways Center. The Phoenix Suns won the game 129-120. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns host Los Angeles Clippers, Lob City comes to the desert


The Suns are on a roll… kind of. While the Suns have won two straight games, they are against the two most depleted teams in the league. As the Suns host Los Angeles, Phoenix will have to improve their defense if they are to continue their winning streak.

The Clippers are becoming a force to be reckoned with and a contributing factor is… they are getting healthier.

The only game this season against the Clips was on December 30th, where the Suns handily destroyed LA by a score of 107-88. There are some important points to remember about how that game will be similar and different to Tuesday’s game.

  • Chris Paul played in that game, so the 19-point beat down can’t be explained away as if Paul had been injured. He was out for several weeks with an injury the following week.
  • Eric Bledsoe injured his knee in that game after playing 31 minutes. So his absence isn’t good, but Phoenix has had plenty of time to realign their depth chart and have blown out the Pacers twice and the Spurs once since them.
  • Blake Griffin has continued to improve his game and his jump shot as the season has progressed.
  • Jamal Crawford is listed as day-to-day, but probably won’t play, even though he did for the December game.
  • Sharp-shooter J.J. Riddick also won’t play.

Key Matchup:

Blake Griffin versus Channing Frye. The veteran Frye did a good job containing Griffin in December, but the high-flying power forward has significantly improved his jump shot and there aspects of his game. I see Griffin going off for 30 or so points in this game despite what Frye or anyone else can do.

What the Suns offense needs to focus on:

Get out in transition and don’t commit a bunch of turnovers, because that will give Lob City a chance to shine. This is a game for Markieff and Marcus Morris to dominate in. The Clippers have recently brought in Glen “Big Baby” Davis to back up Griffin and signed Danny Granger, who will play his first game against Phoenix. The Morrii need to exploit the new players’ lack of knowledge about their new teammates and rack up the points.

What the Suns defense needs to watch out for:

Don’t commit turnovers. Limit the effectiveness of Chris Paul. Do whatever it takes. Trap him. Make Matt Barnes run the offense. Anything. Take charges to get Griffin and DeAndre Jordan in foul trouble.

Prediction:

Suns win on their home court over the Clips 108-100.

Tags: Basketball Blake Griffin Chris Paul DeAndre Jordan Goran Dragic Jamal Crawford Matt Barnes NBA Phoenix Suns