The Phoenix Suns will try to take their winning ways on the road as they take on the Utah Jazz on Saturday night, who are 2-0 at home so far this season. The Suns were able to climb back against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night after being down by 26 points at one point. That was the largest home comeback that the Suns have ever mounted in team history.
A lot of what they were able to do was caused by the bench. The second unit as a whole scored 47 points, led by Shannon Brown's 22. To beat the Jazz, they will have to be equally as dominant. Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Raja Bell form a nice trio of talent that Utah can turn to when their starters either need a breather or get into some foul trouble. They are very deep when it comes to their big players.
To me, the key matchup in this game is between Marcin Gortat and Al Jefferson. Jefferson is the type of center that likes to post his defenders up and back them down, wearing them out over a 48 minute span. Jefferson also leads his team in rebounds, averaging around 10 per game, good for a double-double every night. Gortat will need to make sure that he boxes Jefferson out and plays to his strengths. Some pick and roll to tire Jefferson on the defensive end might not be a bad idea.
It's still very early in the season and the Suns are a relatively young team now, but watch for the back-to-back schedule to possible be a factor. Phoenix has played more games than most teams (including Utah) so far this season and after an exerted effort to make a valiant comeback on Friday, tired legs could become an issue.
This is a game I believe the Suns can win because I believe both teams have a similar talent level. The question will come down to whether the Suns are hungry enough, just as they were on Friday.
Here are the projected lineups:
G Maurice Williams
G Gordon Hayward
F Marvin Williams
F Paul Millsap
C Al Jefferson
C Marcin Gortat
The game is scheduled to tip off at 7:00 PM MST/9:00 PM EST. The game will be broadcast on NBA League Pass for the national audience. You can also find it on FOX Sports Arizona in the Phoenix area or listen to it on Arizona Sports 620 AM. If you live in the Utah area, ROOT sports will be carrying the game, as well as KZNS radio.