The Phoenix Suns (7-14) return home to host the Orlando Magic (7-12) in a re-match from an early season game where the Suns were on the wrong side of a blowout.
A second change to the starting line-up may have been the change needed for at least one Sun as Michael Beasley came off of the bench to a tune of 18 points in the first quarter on great shooting. He was engaged, scoring, and creating for others with a new aura of confidence.
Then in the second half it was almost as if someone unplugged Beasley's battery. He winded down the second half with one made field goal and three points total.
That has been part of the problem all season for the Suns as they do not seem to understand how to get the ball to the hot hand consistently throughout a game. The disconnect there led to another stretch where the team could not score and they fell behind by double-digits again. Only this time they could not dig out of that hole.
Now with a six game winning streak currently in full swing the Suns host the team that knocked them down in a whirl wind third quarter that led to a road loss. The Magic outscored the Suns 40-20 as they could not find any rhythm in the quarter.
The Suns are 5-4 at home and the Magic are 3-7 on the road, both are the teams strong suit so far on the season. Who will break?
Gametime: 6:00 PM
Radio: Arizona Sports 620
Key stat: the three-point line
The Magic defend the three-point line as well as any team in the league (32.3%) and for the Suns, hitting threes is typically the recipe to success this season. When they are able to knock down the long ball they are a different team. On the other hand the Magic do not score the ball from deep (99 made threes) while the Suns have given up the fifth most threes in the league.
Players to watch: Glen Davis vs. Markieff Morris
Davis is the Magic's go-to scorer on the block, while he has not shot the ball well from the field. Morris has played well as a starter, more engaged on both ends of the floor. Both are young pieces to their rebuilding teams and have proven to be very streaky scorers.
The fun matchup of the afternoon: Jameer Nelson vs. Goran Dragic
Nelson has never been appreciated as a point guard in this league despite being the leader on a Finals team. He is playing well so far this season as the engine of the team. For Dragic, he is coming into his own as a starter full-time in the NBA playing full-court all game. Each player has the ability to defend and pester each other all game up and down the court creating havoc.
Player you won't see: former Sun Hedo Turkoglu
His time in the valley was short lived, but his role was supposed to be that of star or at the very least a point forward to leader the offense. It was a forgettable 25 game stint where Turkoglu averaged a meager 9.5 PPG before being sent back to Orlando.