The Golden State Warriors beat the Suns Sunday night 113-107 after the Warriors made a defensive adjustment that limited the touches Dragić got in the second half of the game. The Warriors forced the Suns into making 19 turnovers and the Suns could only muster five fast-break points in the second half.
The 36-26 Suns travel to Los Angeles to face the 44-20 Clippers Monday night. With Eric Bledsoe still a couple games away from coming back from injury the Suns will need to rely once again on the offense of Goran Dragić and Gerald Green. The Suns are 5-5 in their last 10 games and Sunday night’s loss came after Dragić started the first half with 14 points and 6 assists. But Mark Jackson applied a double-team approach in the second half as Dragić could not get past half court without seeing two bodies in front on him. The Warriors kept the ball out of his hands and got a big victory over the Suns. The Clippers on the other hand have won 8 of the last 10 games and look to get another win Monday night.
Goran Dragić versus Chris Paul. The Suns were unable to find away around the Warriors tough defense in the second half but will need to have a big game from Dragić and Green Monday night. The team will have to find ways to disrupt double teams and get Dragić involved early and often. Dragić will have to help the team by finding different ways to be effective.
Turnovers. The Suns continue to lose games in which they turn the ball over 15 times or more, It may seem like an obvious issue but the Suns continue to shoot themselves in the foot with costly turnovers. The Suns turned it over 19 times on Sunday night and the Warriors made the Suns pay outscoring the Suns 15-5 in fast-break points in the second half.
What the Suns offense needs to look for:
Create more fast-break opportunities. The Suns have led the league in fast-break points for most of the season but have struggled getting easy buckets as of late. Partly due to the fact that teams are now focusing more their defense on Dragić and that has led to a more stifled half-court kind of game. The Suns will need to swing the ball around to the hot hand if they expect to get the win Monday night.
What the Suns defense needs to look out for:
Stop Chris Paul. The Suns will need to limit Paul’s touches in order to make the rest of the team beat them. If the Suns can force Paul into passing the ball away the Suns can pressure the rest of the Clippers to beat them. Paul has led the Clippers to another solid season, averaging a double-double in his last 10 games Paul is scoring 16.7 points per game with 10.7 assists per game in that span.
Clippers sleeper to have a good game:
Danny Granger. The newly acquired forward has been averaging 15 minutes per game with the Clippers. He has only been with the team for three games but has been slowly getting into a rhythm and could provide a spark down low for the Clippers in Monday night’s game.
Prediction: The Suns lose to the Clippers 112-108.