Wesley Johnson is guarded by Goran Dragic
Wesley Johnson is guarded by Goran Dragic on Jan. 15, 2014.
(Barry Gossage/Getty Images)

Lakers Preview: 10 Things to Know About the Suns

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

Here is what you need to know about the Suns as the Lakers open up their road schedule with a trip to Phoenix.

1) The Suns were the league’s most improved team last season. Phoenix won 48 games in head coach Jeff Hornacek’s first season, nearly doubling its win total from the year before (23).

2) Individually, Goran Dragic was selected the league’s Most Improved Player after becoming the fourth player in NBA history to average 20 points and five assists while shooting 50 percent overall and 40 percent from 3-point range. Dragic was also named to the All-NBA third team.

3) The Suns shot 49.0 percent on drives, which ranked below only Miami and San Antonio. Eric Bledsoe was a catalyst for this, as he shot the third-highest percentage (52.9) on drives among players with at least seven per game.

4) Markieff Morris was among the league’s best sixth men, racking up the most points (1,115), double-figure games (59) and double-doubles (11) off the bench.

5) Morris’ twin brother, Marcus Morris, scored double figures 42 times last season after doing so 30 times in his previous two seasons combined. This included when he tallied a season-high 22 points against the Lakers on Dec. 10.

6) In addition to the Morris twins, the Suns also signed Dragic’s brother, Zoran Dragic, over the offseason. Phoenix is the first team in NBA history with two separate pairs of brothers on its roster.

7) US Airways Center has recently been a house of horrors for the Lakers, where they haven’t won since Jan. 5, 2011. L.A. has lost by double-digits four times in its current six-game losing streak in Phoenix.

8) The Suns shot better from the left corner than any other team, where they hit 44.9 percent of their 3-pointers. However, they favored the right corner, where they took the second-most 3’s (298) in the league, despite shooting just 36.2 percent from that spot (21st in the NBA).

9) The Suns were second-best in the league at limiting 3-pointers, as opponents shot just 34.1 percent from behind the arc against Phoenix. In particular, the Suns locked down the left corner, where opponents shot a league-low 33.8 percent.

10) Phoenix was the most dangerous team in transition last season, when it led the NBA with 18.7 fast break points per game. The Lakers, meanwhile, allowed a league-high 16.7 fast break points last year.

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