The Phoenix Suns had a disappointing loss to Boston last game, but no time to dwell on that, the Toronto Raptors are next!
The Phoenix Suns loss to Boston wasn’t super great, and that is an understatement. Deandre Ayton hit another three, and that was pleasant, (As far as I’m concerned he is the Suns designated outside sniper) and up to the third quarter, things were still pretty tight. However, Ty Jerome has continued to disappoint and Phoenix conceded a 15-0 run to the Celtics in that third quarter that pretty much ended the game then and there.
That is all behind Phoenix now though, as the defending champs are next in the final scrimmage game for both teams before the seeding games begin. The Toronto Raptors are 2-0 in the Orlando bubble and look very strong.
The Toronto Raptors are the final (and hardest) squad that the Phoenix Suns will have to go through to end their scrimmages.
Previous matchups against the Suns were…..very favorable for the Raptors, as they won both rather handily. The margin for both was no closer than nine points, and in each contest, the rapidly improving star Pascal Siakam dropped over 30 against Phoenix, with 37 in the first matchup and 33 in the second.
Siakam is a matchup issue to be sure, with his strength in transition, his ability to get to the rim, and his improved three-point shot, but the balance from the Raptors is incredible. Kyle Lowry is every bit the all-star point guard he has been for years now and is the glue that keeps this talented team rolling.
Future free agent Fred VanVleet has had a career year, averaging 17 points and 6 assists a contest on a solid 38% from three. He isn’t the only one having his best season though, as swingman Norman Powell has doubled his career average in points through this year, putting up 16 points a game on 50% from the field and 39% from three, just scorching numbers.
The Phoenix Suns definitely have a challenge in front of them, whether they decide to go all out or give players like Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton some rest for the seeding games ahead of them. If they choose the latter, then opportunities arise for Mikal Bridges to take on a higher usage, for Ty Jerome to improve his poor play, and for the bench to come thru and pull this game out. In the final scrimmage for the Phoenix Suns, it will truly take a group effort to end the “preseason” with a hard-earned win.