Mar 26, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) high fives teammates as a timeout is called during the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena. The New York Knicks defeated the Sacramento Kings 107-99. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns face New York Knicks, continue the march to the playoffs


Phoenix has won five in a row and seven of their last eight. They continue their march to the playoffs in the competitive Western Conference as the Suns face New York.

Phoenix is surging into the playoff picture, but doesn’t have anything locked down yet. They have a half game lead over Dallas, and only are half a game behind Memphis, 1.5 behind Golden State and 2.5 behind Portland. Phoenix only has ten matchups left on their slate.

The Knicks are the definition of a roller-coaster. The Knicks lost 13 of 15, then won eight straight, lost two, including giving up 51 points in a quarter to the injury-riddled Lakers, but are most recently coming off a win in Sacramento. That’s up and down.

Since Eric Bledsoe has been back, however, the Suns have been the model of consistency. Other than Bledsoe’s debut against Cleveland and the end-of-the-road trip-against-white-hot-Brooklyn loss, the Suns have won every game since the return of mini-Lebron.

The race to the playoffs continues against the Knicks Friday.

Key Matchup:

P.J. Tucker versus Carmelo Anthony. It’s all about how Tucker can keep Anthony from getting too many good looks. He’s gotta lock him down, contest every shot, make him work.

What the Suns offense needs to focus on:

After the Knicks Friday and Lakers Sunday, Phoenix faces a slew of top-tier Western opponents, so they need to get some key players in rhythm during these final ten games. That includes getting Miles Plumlee a bunch of post touches, Channing Frye and Gerald Green hot from behind the arc, and the Morrii on-point from mid-range. They should get some good looks, because the Knicks seem to have regular breakdowns on defense.

What the Suns defense needs to watch out for:

Just keep volume scorers Melo and J.R. Smith from getting easy looks. Keep the turnovers down. Blow them back in the first half, get up by 20 and the Suns will win the game.

Prediction:

Suns win 115-104

Tags: Basketball Carmelo Anthony Eric Bledsoe Featured J.R. Smith NBA P.j Tucker Phoenix Suns Popular