In the first meeting this season the Phoenix Suns (11-21) lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in a down-to-the-wire affair on the road. This time the Suns play host and look to get some revenge against a team build very similar, but that is clear executing better this season overall.
This summer the Suns went out and signed a young athletic point guard to lead a cast of versatile athletic weapons on the wing. Mix in Marcin Gortat and they are fairly complete.
On paper that worked, but a basic principle for those types of teams has escaped the team: Gang Rebounding. The Suns have the bodies to be a great rebounding team with Gortat, Luis Scola, Jermaine O'Neal, and Markieff Morris. Instead they are 17th in the league and out-rebounded on a consistent basis. Look at the Sixers and they have seven different players averaging 4+ rebounds a game.
The Suns have four of those guys in Gortat, Scola, O'Neal, and Markieff Morris.
Getting on the glass against the Sixers has to be the focus as it was last game when the Suns mauled them on the glass 41-33 in a losing effort.
Coach Doug Collins on playing the full game:
"Everyone always says the NBA is a fourth quarter game, I have always said it is a first quarter game. The tone of the game is set, like last night Lavoy (Allen) got two quick fouls. All of a sudden that changes a lot of you planning and how you want to play your rotations. The fourth quarter is where a lot of the excitement is, but to me the first quarter always sets the tone."
Interesting Stat: 63 Points
That is the amount of points that Holiday combined for between his 33 individual points and his 13 assists against the Suns earlier this season. Can they stop him?