The Phoenix Suns continue their road trip tonight against the defending-champion San Antonio Spurs.
The Suns are looking to push their winning streak to five games after coming away with a close victory against Minnesota on Wednesday. The Spurs are coming off a tough loss to the Detroit Pistons by a final score of 105-104 after Brandon Jennings hit a buzzer-beating shot.
Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich has become famous for resting his stars on occasion, but don’t look for San Antonio’s big-name players to be benched tonight. The Spurs have had a couple days off so look for their stars to be rested.
Spurs’ guard Tony Parker played Tuesday against Detroit after missing the previous five games with a hamstring injury. Even though Parker was able to play on Tuesday, he only scored three points and tallied three assists in only 13 minutes. If Parker plays tonight against the Suns, he could be on a minutes restriction once again.
While one of San Antonio’s Big 3 has been ailing, the other two have been playing some consistent basketball. In the past three games, Tim Duncan has been averaging 11.6 points and 8.6 rebounds and 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds on the season. At age 38, Duncan is still playing very good basketball and can produce at a high level on any night he steps onto the court.
The same goes for Manu Ginobli who is averaging 12.7 points and 5.1 assists on the year. Ginobli is still a vital player in the San Antonio offense and, like Duncan, is capable of having a huge game against any team that doesn’t play good defense on him. Ginobli scored a season-high 26 points against the New Orleans Pelicans on Dec. 31.
The Spurs are also missing a huge piece of their puzzle in the person of forward Kawhi Leonard. Leonard hasn’t played in a game since Dec. 15 due to a hand injury. The Spurs are missing last year’s NBA Finals MVP, as Leonard was averaging 15.2 points and 7.6 rebounds in 22 games played before getting injured.
Phoenix has won eight of their last 10 games and are riding a four-game winning streak and look to make it five straight victories tonight. The Suns are firing on all cylinders recently and are getting contributions from many guys in the rotation.
Eric Bledsoe has been having a great amount of success during this four-game winning streak, averaging 16 points and 6.7 assists per game. Bledsoe has been a major contributor to Phoenix’s success as of late and seems to be finding his rhythm in this offense. Bledsoe also had five steals in the last game at Minnesota.
For the season, Bledsoe is averaging 16.6 points, 5.9 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game.
Of course, Goran Dragic has been playing at a high level during this winning streak. He has scored double-digit points in every game during the streak and scored 25 points against Minnesota. Dragic has been the backbone of this Suns team this season and its unquestioned leader on the court.
The Phoenix big men have been playing really well as of late. Alex Len, while not in a flashy way, has stepped into the starting center role and played well. Len has played a big part on defense, recording at least five blocks in three out of the four games during the winning streak.
Markieff Morris has been playing well all season averaging 15.3 points and 5.8 rebounds and had 26 points and 10 rebounds against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday. The San Antonio frontcourt will have a difficult time on both ends of the court with these two playing well.
Tipoff for this one is at 6:30 PM local time from the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.