Game Preview: Suns (25-24) take on Mavs (25-24) on TNT Thursday
What: Phoenix Suns (25-24) vs. Dallas Mavericks (25-24)
When: 8:00pm AZ Time
Where: Footprint Center, Phoenix, Arizona
Watch: Bally Sports AZ, TNT
Lists: 98.7 FM
Betting Lines: Phoenix -1.5 favorites, Over/Under 221
The suddenly hot Phoenix Suns will look to continue their winning ways of late by extending their win streak to 5 games as they face a struggling Dallas squad.
The season series between these two clubs is tied at one apiece. Phoenix defeated Dallas on opening night thanks to a Damion Lee jumper, 107-105. The Mavs returned a punch with a blowout win over the Suns in their next meeting in Dallas.
The Suns took care of business against a bad Charlotte team on Tuesday night. Phoenix will look to continue their dominance at home this season and build upon their 18-7 record at the Footprint Center.
Deandre Ayton is set to return after missing the past three games due to a non-covid illness.
The Suns received excellent news on Wednesday night, as Mat Ishbia is set for an introductory press conference on the morning of February 8th. He is expected to take control of the team ahead of the February 9th Trade Deadline.
ESPN Reporting with @Baxter: Billionaire mortgage lender Mat Ishbia’s purchase of a majority stake in the Phoenix Suns and Mercury at a $4B valuation is expected to become official in next two weeks – w/ Ishbia assuming control prior to the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline. story soon
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 25, 2023
Full story here: Mat Ishbia’s purchase of Suns, Mercury to be official soon
The Wild, Wild, West
The Western Conference is a cluster of absolute chaos. Phoenix sits just one game back of the 4th seed for home-court advantage, but at the same time are only 1.5 games back from falling to the 11th seed.
Tonight would be a terrific opportunity to jump ahead of the Mavericks of whom they are currently tied for the 6th seed at 25-24.
- Deandre Ayton
- Cam Johnson
- Torrey Craig
- Mikel Bridges
- Dwight Powell
- Dorian Finney Smith
- Tim Hardaway Jr.
- Luka Doncic
- Spencer Dinwiddie
- Devin Booker (groin soreness) is OUT
- Cameron Payne (foot) is OUT
- Landry Shamet (foot) is OUT
- Jae Crowder (perfectly healthy and capable) NOT WITH TEAM
- Christian Wood (thumb) is OUT
- Maxi Kleber (hamstring) is OUT
The Mavericks are reeling of late, dropping 7 of their last 9 games. They’ve also lost their last two including a heartbreaker to the Wizards where some frustrations from their star player Luka Doncic started to spill over.
Dallas is struggling on the road this season with an 8-15 mark when they travel.
Former Sun Ja Vale McGee is out of the Dallas rotation despite them being down both Christian Wood and Maxi Kleber. It wouldn’t shock me if Jason Kidd tried to plug him in against his former team for a spark with how much they’ve been struggling of late.
Luka Doncic’s workload has been massive throughout the season, carrying the Mavericks’ offense time and time again. If Phoenix wants to win it’s not about slowing Luka down… we know he’ll get his. It’s all about taking his running mates out of it.
Spencer Dinwiddie is the main character that comes to mind, but outside of him, they can score by committee through Luka manipulating the defense and finding open shooters. Phoenix will need to close out early and often on Dallas’s shooters so they struggle to get too comfortable.
Phoenix’s 4-game winning streak couldn’t have come at a better time, jumping them from 12th in the standings to 5th momentarily, and now sitting at tied in 6th with this Dallas squad.
Cam Johnson’s return has been a massive boost to the Suns on both sides of the floor. His hot start against Charlotte gave them quite the cushion early on. He is still on a minute restriction, but it would not shock me if that was lifted after he gets his conditioning all the way back in a game or two.
ChrisPaul is playing like the “Point God” again, and given how shallow the Suns’ guard depth has been it couldn’t come at a better time.
In his two games back, he is averaging 18.0 points, 11.0 assists, and 5.5 rebounds on 52 percent shooting from the field in two wins.
Dario Saric has been gaining confidence as well and should figure to play a significant role for the suns in the second half of the season.
Phoenix is starting to regain its swagger (and well, mostly players) and it has been a breath of fresh air for everyone involved.
The Suns keep the good vibes rolling and extend their streak to 5 games in a tough battle. Luka keeps Dallas close, but Phoenix pulls away in the 4th.
Suns – 115 Dallas – 109
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