By Ben York, Suns.com Off to a blistering 3-1 start, the Suns head to San Antonio to take on the Spurs on Wednesday, the final game of their three-game road trip. The game will be televised on FOX Sports Arizona at 6:30pm and fans can listen to the radio broadcast on Arizona Sports 620. Click through to see five things Suns fans should watch for during #SunsAtSpurs.
Back-to-Back Back-to-back games are never easy. Still, if it’s any consolation, the Suns face the Spurs on the second game of San Antonio’s own back-to-back (the Spurs beat the Denver Nuggets last night while the Suns beat the Pelicans). Bench play was a major factor in the Suns’ win, and they’ll certainly need similar production if they want to come away with another road victory in a tough environment.
Ish to the Rescue Against the Pelicans in the Suns’ 104-98 win, Ish Smith dished out eight assists with just one turnover in 16 minutes of play in the absence of Goran Dragic. The Suns again face a strong, athletic backcourt in tonight’s game against the Spurs. If Smith can continue to be effective and help facilitate the Suns’ offense, it certainly bodes well for the team.
Bledsoe on a Roll Through four games, Eric Bledsoe is averaging 22.8 points, 7.8 assists, 5.8 rebounds and shooting 50 percent from the field to help lead the Suns to a 3-1 record. More significantly, he’s really stepping up in the fourth quarter of games when the team needs a boost on both ends of the floor. Bledsoe will face another elite point guard in Tony Parker against the Spurs, so he’ll again be counted on to fill up the stat sheet.
Attacking the Glass Entering the game, the Suns currently rank 13th in rebounds while the Spurs rank 21st. Still, San Antonio only averages 13.8 turnovers per game which is third-best in the NBA. Knowing the Spurs take such good care of the ball, it’s imperative for the Suns to dominate the glass and not give the Spurs too many second-chance points.
Controlling the Ball, Tempo The Spurs have consistently been one of the best teams in the NBA at capitalizing off of turnovers. And although the Suns have turned the ball over more than they’ve wanted to early on, they’ve been able to make up for it by playing lock-down defense and controlling the tempo. Against San Antonio, taking care of the ball becomes priority No. 1.