The Phoenix Suns beat the Atlanta Hawks Monday night 102-95 in what was a huge victory for the team in their push for the playoffs. The Suns took advantage of the fact that Kyle Korver; the Hawks top shooter and the guy that gets them going during lulls in games was out with an injury. The Suns held strong and beat the Hawks on their own court. The Hawks could have used Korver’s shot as the team went 8-23 from beyond the arc. Clearly the Suns just had to shoot average to come away with the victory.
The 42-29 Suns travel to D.C to face the 36-34 Wizards who are actually in the playoffs as of right now. Most likely this won’t change and the Wizards will actually play a postseason game this year. The Suns were able to get a lot of fast break points that led to easy baskets and the victory over a team that could have used a sharpshooter. The Suns will need to keep up the frantic pace against the Wizards to keep their winning streak alive.
Goran Dragić versus John Wall. Dragić is shooting lights out from the field as of late and will need to continue to shoot this way if they want to finish the season strong. Dragić is clearly benefiting from the return of Bledsoe into the lineup. For Wall, this game is another chance to show what he can do as his team is continually in the rebuilding stage but this year will be the first in five years that the Wizards will be in the postseason. Wall is having a strong season averaging 19.8 points, 8.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game. Leading a very mediocre team to the playoffs for the first time in five years.
Turnovers. This is still the reason that games that should be blowouts are not. The Hawks turned the ball over 17 times but the Suns turned it over 18 times and it led to easy baskets that the Hawks capitalized on with pleasure.
What the Suns offense needs to look for:
Fast breaks. The Suns went back to what made them successful earlier in the season and outran the Hawks with a 21-8 fast break advantage in the game. The Suns will need to keep attacking with this kind of fury to improve their playoff chances.
What the Suns defense needs to look out for:
Wall. The Suns should be focused on stopping Wall from getting easy baskets in the lane. The bigs will need to make sure to protect the rim from Wall’s penetration.
Wizards sleeper to have a good game:
Martell Webster. Webster has been getting solid minutes this season and has averaged 10.2 points and three rebounds per game this season.
Prediction: The Suns beat the Wizards 115-110.