Phoenix Suns: 3 Keys To Victory vs the Cleveland Cavaliers

Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Off the back of annihilation at the hands of the Trail Blazers and a heartbreaking buzzer-beater loss against the Kings, the Phoenix Suns will try to bounce back from their disappointing 1-3 record with a win on Saturday.

The story of the season couldn’t have been any different for their opposition. The Cavs, who weren’t expected to do too well, sit as the 6th seed in the east at the time of writing. Their 3rd overall pick, Evan Mobley has been sensational and looks like a player well beyond his years. Collin Sexton and Jarrett Allen have continued their great play from last season while new acquisition and former sun Ricky Rubio has had some big games too.

Facing an in-form and talented Cavaliers team, here are some keys to victory for the Suns to get their season back on track

Key to Success #1: Don’t over-rely on mismatches against Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen

An efficient source of the suns offense in the last 10 months has come through exploiting mismatches. The Cavaliers Starting Lineup with 3 bigs will be enticing to attack but there’s the reason the Cavs have an above-average defense this season.

Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen are far from the typical immobile 7 footers. Both players are extremely versatile and are great in defending space thanks to their elite drive containment along with the aforementioned versatility. The drive containment has led to opposition offenses getting stalled for valuable seconds and getting far from ideal looks in many cases, a key component of the Cavaliers’ 11th ranked defense.

Mobley has been used more as the secondary rim protector and roaming big and has been elite in this role, playing a key role in keeping the LA Clippers to 79 points in Wednesday Night’s Cavs win. His versatility was on full display as according to matchup stats, he contained Paul George 0 points on 2 attempts and a turnover when matched up while also successfully restricting second unit center Isiah Hartensentein to 0 points on 3 attempts.

However, this doesn’t mean the Suns cannot take advantage of mismatches as a whole as the Cavs defensive versatility isn’t too impressive outside of Mobley and Allen. The Cavs pick and roll defense ranks as the 5th worst according to stats. The Suns’ guards can possibly hunt Lauri Markkennan on mismatches. Another major beneficiary of the overall lackluster pick-and-roll defense and mismatches can be Deandre Ayton, who is coming off a historic night.