The road trip continues and for one night, the Suns hope the back-and-forth nature of it does as well.
Phoenix has gone loss-win-loss through the first three games on the road this week despite none of those opponents boasting better than a .500 record in that stretch. Tonight’s opponent, Detroit, is the worst yet, sitting at 15-22 after snapping a six-game losing streak at Philadelphia last night.
Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek said before the team left Phoenix that he’d like to see the team win at least three out of five on this road swing, which makes tonight a must-win.
Is Complete Game in Store for Suns?
Phoenix looked well on their way to a win at Memphis Friday night, but the offense cooled off and the rebounding faltered in the final period. In the end, one good quarter from Phoenix’s opponent was enough to wipe out the first three.
The Suns are no doubt aware of this, but can take heart after seeing what they were able to do for the majority of the game even without Eric Bledsoe (knee). If they can stay true to that formula for a full 48 minutes, beating a struggling Detroit team should be well within reach.
Yet Another Imposing Frontline
After giving up a combined 30 rebounds to Zach Randolph and Ed Davis, Phoenix must contend with Greg Monroe (14.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg) and Andre Drummond (12.6 ppg, 12.7 rpg), as well as Josh Smith (15.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg).
Miles Plumlee held his own against Memphis Friday night (11 rebounds, two blocks), but Channing Frye and Markieff Morris combined for just eight boards, less than P.J. Tucker’s nine.
Phoenix will need its entire frontcourt rotation to pitch in on the glass, or at the very least keep their Pistons counterparts off of it.
Will Suns Remember Scouting Reports?
Detroit is not one of the better outside shooting teams in the league. The Pistons, in fact, rank dead last in the league in three-point shooting.
Phoenix prides itself on perimeter defense, ranking in the top five in opponent three-point shooting. It might behoove them, however, to remember that less might be more when it comes to guarding Josh Smith (24.8 3FG%) and Rodney Stuckey (31.4%) beyond the arc.
Can Phoenix Be Efficient From Deep?
Speaking of long-distance shooting, the Suns stayed second in the league last night in three-pointers made per game (9.7) after hitting 11 from beyond the arc against the Grizzlies.
They needed 30 attempts to get there, however, giving htem a 36.7 percent clip from deep. When Phoenix shoots at least 37 percent on three-pointers, they’re 14-4.
When they hit less than 37 percent, the Suns are just 7-10.
Are Western Woes Real for Detroit?
The Pistons sport 15 wins. Only one of them as come against a Western team’s expense, with the other 11 non-conference matchups ending in defeat.
Some of them came at the hands of contenders such as Portland and Golden State, but they’ve had issues with non-playoff teams such as the Lakers and Pelicans as well.