At this point… every matchup is crucial. Phoenix only has eight games left on its slate. Every single one of them is latent with massive postseason implications. In addition to Phoenix Suns at Portland Trailblazers, the Denver Nuggets are in Memphis to face the Grizz, the Sacramento Kings is in Oakland to play the Golden State Warriors, and the Mavericks are at STAPLES Center to take on the Lakers. Suddenly Suns fans are temporarily Kings, Lakers and Nuggets fans, in addition to cheering their hometown team to victory from afar.
There are only eight games left, and it’s looking like Phoenix will have to win at least four of them to make the playoffs. With two of those games against the West’s elite in San Antonio and Oklahoma City, a victory for this Suns squad in Portland would be huge.
Eric Bledsoe versus Damian Lillard. While either Bledsoe or Dragic could be guarding the Weber State product, the key matchup has to be whoever is taking on Damian Lillard, the reigning rookie of the year and now All-Star this season. Bledsoe should be aggressive, charging into Lillard to get him into foul trouble. Bledsoe also needs to be careful to run Lillard off thru three-point line.
What the Suns offense needs to focus on:
The game against the Lakers was a dumpster fire of horrible effort and execution and needs to be thrown away, along with the heartbreaker against the Clips. Phoenix needs to get back to their basketball, get out in transition and drain some threes. Boy do I hope Gerald Green and Channing Frye catch fire these final two weeks.
What the Suns defense needs to watch out for:
Especially in this game, this Suns squad needs to live up to its reputation as a good three-point defensive team, running at them without giving up an easy two points. They also need to get in the passing lanes, as well as figure out how to deal with LaMarcus Aldridge in the high post.
Suns win 111-106