Phoenix Suns: 5 Keys To Success vs Los Angeles Clippers

Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Chris Paul (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Key #2: Disciplined team defense vs small ball lineup

One of the best defenders in the league, Rudy Gobert, looked clueless against the Clippers in his last few games, as LA took out the DPOY’s elite rim protection with their “small ball” approach that left them with five 3-point shooting threats out on the perimeter. Some have feared that a similar case might be in store for Ayton, who has been one of the best defenders of the 2021 playoffs.

However Phoenix’s team defense as a whole changes the scenario quite a bit. One of the main reasons why the Jazz defense completely collapsed was their lack of resistance from the perimeter at times, leading to a defensive overload for Gobert.

Among the high-minute players in the series, only Joe Ingles and Royce O’Neale could be considered positive defenders, while an injured Donovan Mitchell and Jordan Clarkson were often targeted.

Furthermore, the Jazz also lacked any type of secondary rim protection. All these issues will not apply to the Suns though if they stay as defensively sound as they have been so far in the 2021 playoffs.

Phoenix’s starting lineup does not consist of any players that can be targeted. Additionally, Crowder, Bridges, and Craig all have some level of rim resistance, which means that Ayton does not have to worry about protecting the rim constantly while on switches.

Disciplined team defense, with effective communication, and players playing to their best abilities will play a key role in the Suns succeeding.