Suns vs Pistons preview: Game time, TV coverage, and a bad Detroit team

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

The Suns continue their road trip against a lesser Eastern Conference team. Can they continue to beat teams they're supposed to beat?

The Phoenix Suns continue the mini-stretch of their Eastern Conference road trip wherein they face off against mediocrity to relieve some of their woes. Last night, Phoenix took care of a Cleveland Cavaliers team without their best player; tonight's game is against the Detroit Pistons at the Palace. Can the Suns continue to beat another team they're supposed to beat?

Game time: 5:30 PM Arizona time

TV: FSAZ

Radio: Arizona Sports 620

Key stats:

93.7

That is the number of points per game that the Pistons are scoring. The team is not especially adept at ball movement, either. This is good, because the Suns are having difficulty defending. Perhaps a low-scoring eastern conference squad is just the laurels Phoenix's defense can rest on.

40.4

The number of rebounds the Pistons are grabbing a game. Rebounding has been a problem for the Suns for a while and they're middle of the pack this year. Detroit is not an especially big team and between Phoenix's front court and their good-rebounders-for-their-position guards, the Suns should win this battle.

Injuries:

Both teams are healthy, though Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey only recently returned from a sprained ankle.

Key matchups:

Marcin Gortat vs. Greg Monroe

Now in his third year, Monroe has basically improved upon all of the promise he showed throughout his first two seasons. He's averaging nearly a double-double, at 17 points and 9.5 rebounds a game, and he might just be the Pistons' best player. Gortat has decided that he is an integral part to what the Suns should be doing and this will be a good matchup for him to prove he belongs amongst the top bigs in the NBA.

Goran Dragic vs. Brandon Knight

Detroit has been unable to get consistent point guard play for years now, and Knight has not broken the trend. However, he's been an offensive force over the last handful of games. Dragic has been the heart of this Suns team all season and he'll likely continue to put the team on his shoulders. He'll have to work for it, though, as Knight is a pesky defender.

Player to watch:

Every once in a while, Michael Beasley has one of those games that reminds you of why he was drafted second overall in his class. It seems like it's about time for another one of those games. He'll likely be guarded by Tayshaun Prince, another oversized small forward, but his best years are quite a bit behind him. It shouldn't be too hard for SuperCoolBeas to overpower Prince, provided he takes the ball to the lane.

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