By Ben York, Suns.com At 1-4 on the road and 5-6 on the season, the Suns look to start their three-game road trip on the right foot against the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday, November 22. The game will be televised on FOX Sports Arizona at 5:00pm and fans can listen to the radio broadcast on Arizona Sports 620. Click through to see five things Suns fans should watch for during #SunsAtBobcats.
Scoring Punch After scoring 12 points in the third quarter of Wednesday’s game against the Kings, the Suns erupted for 44 points in the fourth quarter. Perhaps more significantly, they face a Bobcats team on Friday that is last in the NBA in scoring averaging 89.0 points per game. Conversely, the Bobcats are a lock-down defensive team and only allow 92 points per game, fourth-best in the NBA. In order to come away with a win, the Suns will need to rediscover their scoring prowess and consistency.
Beyond the Arc The Suns average 9.0 made 3-pointers per game, good for seventh in the NBA. Charlotte, however, is second to last in the league averaging 5.1. The Suns’ effectiveness from downtown has been one of their key weapons from an offensive standpoint. If Phoenix can hit 10-12 3-pointers against the Bobcats, it will likely mean their offense is clicking and in rhythm – and that multiple players are making significant contributions.
Getting to the Line The Bobcats are one of the best teams in the league at getting to the free throw line. In fact, they average almost seven more attempts per game (28.1) than the Suns (21.6). Not only will the Suns need to play smart defense, they’ll need to focus on attacking the basket and putting the Bobcats in foul trouble early on.
Markieff Morris When Markieff Morris is aggressive in looking for his shot and getting to the rim, this is a different Suns team. Morris has taken just four shots combined in the last two games. He certainly showed signs of brilliance earlier in the month which led to a Player of the Week nod. Morris will need to rekindle that same type of effort to help the Suns in this tough start to a quick road trip.
Taking Care of the Ball Turnovers have plagued the Suns during their four-game losing streak. So far in the young season, Phoenix averages nearly 17 turnovers per game to the Bobcats’ 12.7 (second-best in the NBA). Indeed, Charlotte may not score a ton of points but they are keen on taking care of the ball. For the Suns to come away with a win on the road, they can’t afford to be careless with the ball, especially considering Eric Bledsoe is still day-to-day.