Avoiding complacency critical for Phoenix Suns versus Houston Rockets

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

In their last matchup versus the Houston Rockets, Phoenix let an easy win go in a 122-121 defeat, led by a 30-point night from Jalen Green.

Rockets Rising to the Occasion

The Phoenix Suns have lost four games in a row and now travel to Houston, with top player Devin Booker likely missing another game with hamstring tightness. The Rockets currently hold the Association’s fourth-worst record at 8-18, but this young roster has made a habit of wreaking havoc on contenders.

Though eight wins are far from ideal past the season’s quarter mark, they have already taken down Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Milwaukee. Monty Williams can attest firsthand that this Rockets group is not afraid to compete against contending rosters. Thus, the Suns need to take this road matchup as seriously as any other contest.

Though unconventional, Houston boasts a highly talented and athletic backcourt in Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green. These players have shown to be willing volume scorers this season and will likely give Phoenix a handful with a thin group of guards.

Generating Offense

Something to keep a close eye on tonight is how the Suns generate offense without Devin Booker. Monty Williams is fortunate to have a slew of proven role players, but the need for a clear and consistent second scoring option to Devin Booker has become increasingly apparent.

DeAndre Ayton and Mikal Bridges have shown flashes of volume scoring ability, though neither has been able to do so consistently throughout their respective five-year careers. The pressure certainly rides more on Ayton to be this guy than Bridges, and Mikal is asked to do tons on the defensive end while Ayton is paid max money and is a former top pick.

At the young age of just 24 and with a solid start to this season, Ayton can develop into the second-volume scorer that Phoenix desperately needs, but James Jones will need this sooner rather than later. If DeAndre could step up during Booker’s absence and prove that he can be relied on as a go-to scorer, the Suns would be much more competitive.

Look for Ayton to be aggressive tonight against a younger, smaller Houston front-court. Without an efficient volume scoring performance from one or more Suns tonight, victory will be difficult.

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