Phoenix Suns Preview: Rematch on National Television

November 2, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight (3) controls the ball against Los Angeles Clippers guard J.J. Redick (4) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
November 2, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight (3) controls the ball against Los Angeles Clippers guard J.J. Redick (4) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Tonight, Doc Rivers will lead his high-flying Los Angeles Clippers (5-3) into the valley, for a TNT-covered matchup with the slumping Phoenix Suns (3-4).

Ok, it’s probably unfair to refer to a team on a two-game skid as, “slumping.” But what we’ve seen from the Suns in both of those losses doesn’t make them look like a team ready to rattle off a win streak anytime soon.

In a 92-100 loss to Detroit at home last Friday, Phoenix got solid outings from Brandon Knight, Eric Bledsoe, and Markieff Morris, coupled with virtually nothing from everyone else, shooting 40% from the field as a team.

The blowout loss to OKC is more of a of head-scratcher, with it being tough to fathom how Phoenix ended up on the losing side of a 21-point blowout, when the opposing team hit just four of their 20 three-point attempts.

A closer look at the box score reveals the 23 turnovers OKC forced, along with the 61% that they hit on two-point field goals.

Not a winning formula.

Needless to say, this was a rough couple of outings for the Suns on both sides of the ball. They didn’t shoot the ball well in either game, and the interior defense collapsed against the Thunder.

But keep in mind, the Clippers are 1-3 in their last four, so they aren’t exactly playing with their heads on fire either.

Thursday’s primetime rematch between the two should present an opportunity for both teams to get themselves back on track.

Just a Hint of Awkward

I don’t think I need to go into great detail on the DeAndre Jordan- Dallas Mavericks saga. It was a huge deal this past offseason, and surely you saw the monsoon of boos that fell upon him throughout the Clippers 118-108 loss to the Mavs in Dallas on Wednesday night.

But to make a long story short, Jordan’s indecisiveness last Summer over which team he would be suiting up for this season is basically what forced Tyson Chandler out of Big D, and into the waiting arms of Ryan McDonough, and the Phoenix Suns.

Chandler and Jordan are about as parallel as you will see with their style of play. They both enjoy catching lobs, throwing down monster jams, hovering around the rim on defense, and, well, catching lobs. They’re basically the same make of car, just a few years apart in years.

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Jordan, the newer, sleeker model, has outdone Chandler so far this season, averaging a double-double every night, with 10 points and 13 rebounds per game averages, compared to Chandler’s 7 points and 10.9 boards a night.

However, “Old Man Tyson,” did get the best of his younger counterpart in their last meeting, earlier in the season. Chandler scored 14 and pulled in 17 boards in the Suns loss, making his matchup with Jordan one to watch for in Round 2.

Lance Gonna Lance

Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan. All great players in their own right, but the guy I’ve got my eye on for LAC is averaging 5.5 points per game, and goes by the name of, “Born Ready.”

That’s right, folks; the Lance Stephenson Show is making a stop in the desert as part of its 82-game tour. And lucky for us, “The Lance-ster,” is on top of his game, pulling several jaw-dropping stunts as of late.

It’s pretty safe to say that the Lance experiment hasn’t quite worked out up to this point for neither the team nor the player. But you can defiantly count on some unintentional comedy anytime Stephenson hits the floor.

Make em’ Sweat

The Los Angeles Clippers have turned themselves into perennial Western Conference Finals contenders over these last few years with the addition of Chris Paul and emergence of Blake Griffin.

The Phoenix Suns, on the other hand, haven’t even been mentioned in the same breath as the playoffs since 2010. But based on their contest from earlier this month, this should be a much better matchup than anticipated.

In the fourth game of this young season, the Suns rolled into the Staples Center and gave Lob City almost everything it could handle, forcing the Clips to work for a 102-96 win.

The Suns went into halftime trailing 48-39 in that one after a brutal second quarter that saw them score just 16 points. But they stormed back with a 33 in the third to make it a three-point game going into the final period. Unfortunately, the comeback was for naught, as Phoenix was outscored 27-24, even though they never trailed by more than six at any point in the fourth.

Next: Film Room: Looking at Lobs to Tyson Chandler

If Phoenix can avoid a disastrous stretch like that second quarter in LA, they should have good chance to at least make this competitive, if not, walk out of Talking Stick Resort Arena with a much-needed victory