Game On: Hornets @ Suns

They fought over Eric Gordon, and now they fight for Lottery Balls. Coincidence?

The Phoenix Suns are in active tank mode, scratching and clawing with Cleveland for the third most lottery balls.  Well, scratching and clawing is probably the wrong metaphor.  That would entail a fight.  Instead, Phoenix has gone from a mid-league defense for most of the season to the second worst defense in the league over the last month.  During that stretch, opponents have averaged almost 111 points against the Suns.  That poses a problem for Phoenix, which posted the second worst offense in the league this season.  It’s hard to score that many points with that little firepower.

On the opposite spectrum are the Hornets, who have actually tightened their defense from terrible to merely poor over the last month as Monty once again proves he thinks tanks should be used to try and win battles, not lose them.  Sigh.  Happily, the Hornets have matched their defensive improvement with offensive issues, setting up an interesting battle tonight.

A terrible offense will win tonight over a bad defense.  Whose offense can be less terrible?

Keys to the Game

  • The Suns are awful defensive rebounders.  The Hornets are good offensive rebounders.  AD, Lopez and Aminu should clean house, and if they do, the Hornets offense will get a boost.
  • The Suns love mid-range shots, taking the fourth highest number of them in the league.  The Hornets force the fewest number of mid-range shots.  If they can show just a modicum of skill cutting off drives, the Suns will settle happily.
  • Tonight is a great candidate for Ryan Anderson to break out of his slump.  The Suns don’t contest threes, allowing the highest 3pt% in the league on the fourth highest number of attempts.  A 6-11 shooting night isn’t out of the question for the flamethrower.

Enjoy the game!



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