When the Suns host Oklahoma City Thursday, it will be a matchup of Western Conference playoff teams with very different goals. Both teams are just getting back impactful point guards. Russell Westbrook recently returned from injury from the Thunder, and Bledsoe will return in the next week for your hometown Phoenix Suns.
The Thunder are perennial championship contenders, while the Suns are playing with house money hoping to make the playoffs, since they were projected as one of the worst teams before the season.
Goran Dragic versus Russell Westbrook. This epic point guard matchup will play a big part in who wins this game. Kevin Durant will get his points, but if Westbrook also has it going, it’s going to be a long night for the Suns. Despite the freakish athleticism of Westbrook, the Phoenix guards need to keep him in front of them. The best you can do is make every bucket difficult for Westbrook and Durant.
What the Suns offense needs to focus on:
If the Suns are to win this game, they are going to have to shoot lights out. So they need to get Channing Frye, Gerald Green and Markieff Morris in rhythm and on fire. Also, Alex Len is starting again in lieu of the injured Miles Plumlee, so the Suns need to get Len some easy baskets. The Suns bench can help keep them in the game, if they exploit their advantages.
What the Suns defense needs to watch out for:
They have to limit the “Big three” of Durant, Westbrook and Serge Ibaka. This will be very difficult to do, but you’ve got to get physical with them, getting in their face. Stop penetration. Basically, don’t let KD have open shots.
Suns lose 109-99