Opponent Scouting: Phoenix Suns. (17-55)

Tonight at 10:00pm EST the Pistons will be on the road to face the Phoenix Suns. The Pistons are on two-days rest after losing to the Cavaliers on Monday. The Suns are also on two days of rest after losing to the Bulls.

The Them:

The Suns are very bad. They have the 29th offensive efficiency in the NBA, the 29th defensive efficiency, and 28th net rating.

Tyler Johnson, Kelly Oubre, and TJ Warren are all listed as out for tonight’s game. As such Devin Booker is even more alone than usual. Booker is a high-level scorer, averaging 25.5 points per game on a TS% of 57% and while he turns the ball over too much he’s done well passing the ball as they’ve made him the defacto point-guard for a great deal of the minutes. Mikal Bridges is a good defender and decent shooter. DeAndre Ayton has been overshadowed by other rookies but he’s actually been really good. He’s bouncy, has great hands, nice touch, and is finding some comfort on defense. A 20 year old averaging 16-10 with .9 steals and blocks per game is highly impressive even if he is struggling with a lot of the finer points of the game.

Dragan Bender is still here but he’s getting close to officially and fully being a total flop. He still does some nice things but not well enough. De’Anthony Melton is a basketball player.

Josh Jackson is kind of in the Stanley Johnson zone still, got lots of interesting tools but hasn’t really put them into a useful player yet. There are nights where he does look better than Stanley ever did though. Jamal Crawford is here and he’s still chucking away off the bench, Troy Daniels can shoot.

The Suns suck. But like the Cavs they remain an NBA team and have also showed some basic signs of life since the break.

Matchups to watch:

  • Pistons vs. Not making me quit this crap forever: The Pistons lost to the Cavs. If they lose to the Suns tonight I may just jump ship and, idk, cover horse racing or something. I went to a wheelchair game a while back that was cool, maybe that’s it. I’ll just cover wheel-chair basketball from now on if they lose. Then even when the team loses its still super inspiring and stuff.

  • Blake Griffin vs. Being rested: So Blake has been a bit off since the break. They gave him the Cleveland game off, hopefully he comes out swining and looks great. Also the Suns have no one to guard him so that helps.

  • Andre vs. Ayton: Ayton can jump with Andre, but young dudes usually have lots of trouble with Andre’s brand of brutal athleticism.

  • Pistons vs. Booker: Booker is the real deal, at least on offense. He may not be quite as good as some make him out to be, but he’s a big-time offensive player. If the Pistons let him get going the Suns will suddenly not look so helpless.

  • Bench vs. Not being terrible: The Suns starters are bad, their bench should be worse. When the Suns reserves are in the game the Pistons should be able to on big runs.

So in conclusion…

Wink knowingly at your friends if:

  • Blake Griffin looks like jesus.

  • Andre is too strong for Ayton.

  • The Pistons are up by many points very quickly.

Run for the hills if:

  • Booker starts hitting tough shots.

  • Josh Jackson is getting out in transition and hitting floaters.

  • Flashbacks.

Opportunities for me to look stupid:

  • Cavs game broke me these go away again for a bit.