Phoenix suffered its worst defeat of the season last night, falling 115-86 to the Warriors.
Luckily for the Suns, they won’t have to wait long to wipe that memory away. Philadelphia is in town, and the 8-20 Sixers present an opportunity to quickly move on.
How will Phoenix respond? That and several other factors come into play tonight.
How Will Phoenix Start the Game?
It didn’t take long to see Friday night wasn’t the Suns’ night. Shots weren’t falling, the opposition was getting its way inside, and things snowballed quickly.
How will Phoenix respond tonight? With angry purpose? Business-like? Or will they stay loose and act like last night is already ancient history?
Ditto for Philly
Believe it or not, the Sixers were also a heart-warming story early in the season before a string of losses blunted a promising start.
Things bottomed out for them at Milwaukee last Saturday, when Philadelphia lost to the league-worst Bucks.
Will the Sixers be motivated from the memory of that loss despite a holiday-filled week off? We’ll see.
Will Sixers Sport Similar Backcourt?
Rookie of the Year frontrunner Michael Carter-Williams (17.6 points, 7.8 assists, 5.5 rebounds per game) will be playing in his third game back from a knee injury, but posted double-doubles in the previous two.
The question is will Tony Wroten (18.4 points, 5.3 assists, 4.8 rebounds as a starter) play more with MCW? There have been rumblings from Philly that head coach Brett Brown could experiment by playing the pair together, given their individual success.
With a front-row seat to the Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe show, Brown could be further inspired as soon as tonight to try it out.
Long-Distance Big Men
Channing Frye’s proficiency beyond the arc is well-documented, but the Suns will need to be just as aware of Spencer Hawes on the other end. The 7-foot-1 center is shooting an astounding 43.3 percent from downtown and averaging nearly two makes per game from that distance.
Hawes’ presence poses matchup questions for Phoenix just as Frye does for other teams. Which one will make his respective matchup more uncomfortable on the perimeter?
Will Suns Take Advantage of Philly “D”?
The Sixers allow the most points (111.7 ppg) and fourth-highest shooting percentage (47.1) in the league.
Can Phoenix capitalize on a known weakness again? They proved capable in a 27-point blowout win over the Lakers on Monday. Performing the feat twice in a week would be further proof that the Suns can do much more than stay in and win close games.