The Phoenix Suns lost to the Brooklyn Nets Monday night 95-108. The Suns never had the lead and lost the fast break battle 20-11. Deron Williams dominated the Suns, scoring 28 points and adding three steals in a winning effort. One of the few bright spots for the Suns was the play of Miles Plumlee who had 14 points and 11 rebounds against his brother Mason Plumlee. Plumlee has had a rough second half of the season but seems to be regaining confidence.
The 38-29 Suns host the 19-49 Orlando Magic Wednesday night. The Magic come into the game as one of the worst road teams in the league winning only 4 out of 35 road games this season. The Magic have Aaron Afflalo who is averaging a career high 19.3 points per game this season and is one of the few bright spots for a last place struggling team like the Magic.
Goran Dragić versus Aaron Afflalo. Dragić had a disastrous game against the Nets Monday night only scoring 13 points in a very limited 25 minutes after he was taken out for foul trouble. Dragić will have to refocus in this very crucial bounce back game for the Suns, who are still just one game out of the playoff picture behind the Memphis Grizzlies. They’ll need the offensive spark Dragić has provided so far this season tonight.
Fast breaks. The second half of the season has been a difficult one for the Phoenix Suns and it has been because defenses are stifling the thing that had made the Suns successful at the start of the season. Fast Breaks, the Suns have deviated from this approach and I think if they utilize both Dragić and Bledsoe to create more fast break opportunities the Suns can finish strong in their push for the last spot in the playoffs.
What the Suns offense needs to look for:
Shooting beyond the arc. The Suns should try to establish the three-ball early on in the game and this should open the court to Bledsoe and Dragić to penetrate at will. If the Suns can go inside outside consistently they will come away with an easy win against the Magic.
What the Suns defense needs to look out for:
Afflalo. Aaron Afflalo and Victor Oladipo will be the guys to watch on the Magic. These two high scorers can get hot in a minute and will need to get a lot of touches to be successful. If the Suns can force the ball out of their hands the Suns should come away with the win.
Magic sleeper to have a good game:
Tobias Harris. Harris is someone that the Suns defense should take notice of. Harris is having his best season, averaging 14.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game this season for the Magic. His mid to long-range game has improved drastically from last year and can be a nuisance on the defensive side of the ball.
Prediction: The Suns beat the Magic 108-96.