When: November 4th, 4:00 p.m. MST
Where: Amway Center, Orlando FL
Watch: Locally: FSNAZ; Outside AZ: NBA League Pass
After squeaking past the Pistons on Friday night, the Suns face a Magic team that is without Dwight Howard and a team that could end up being the worst team in the Eastern Conference. Although the game against Detroit didn't look necessarily clean, Phoenix still managed to hold on to their lead and get the win. The positive: Suns had five players in double figures, which is exactly the kind of effort they will have to produce in Orlando. The negative: Jared Dudley only had two points and besides Shannon Brown, the bench was almost nonexistent.
This game marks the beginning of three-game road trip on the East Coast against Orlando, Miami, and Charlotte. The Magic are coming into Sunday's game with some momentum after an impressive 102-89 win against the Denver Nuggets. The Suns can not take the Magic lightly and definitely need to take care of business against a team that has less talent on paper.
Goran Dragic vs. Jameer Nelson - This matchup is clearly in favor of the Suns. Dragic has looked as good as advertised so far as the floor general in Phoenix and has put up good numbers in his first two games of the season. Nelson, on the other hand, has always seemed to be one of those third-tier point guard talents. Dragic should get the better of Nelson in this matchup on both sides of the court.
Luis Scola and Marcin Gortat vs. Glen Davis and Nikola Vucevic - For the sake of Orlando, who doesn't really own a Center, I'll just say the match-up is the Bigs of the Suns against the Bigs of the Magic. Anyway you want to say it, the Suns should be favored in the size department for this game. Gortat has looked like the double-double machine he can be so far and Scola has been the efficient post presence the Suns need him to be. Glen Davis had an impressive season opener, putting up 29 points and 10 rebounds against Denver, so Phoenix will have to keep Davis from controlling the paint.
Michael Beasley vs. Hedo Turkoglu - Can I call this one a push? Maybe a slight edge for Beasley? I think it's still too early to say that Beasley be that consistant scorer that the Suns need him to be. Now if you would have asked me who had the edge four years ago, it would have been Turkey-Glue, mainly because Beasley was a rookie then. If I had to call it, I'd say Beasley gets the better of Hedo and contributes significantly.
The Suns Bench vs. The Magic's Bench - This match-up will ultimately decide the outcome of this game. If J.J. Redick and the rest of Orlando's bench heat up and knock down their shots, the Magic will be tough to beat. If Shannon Brown and Wesley Johnson are on point, the Suns will win the game. I think it's obvious that bench production in crucial for both teams if they want the win.
The Bottom Line: The Suns should win this game. They hold advantages in almost every match-up and are clearly the more talented team on paper. We know in the NBA that any team can be beaten on any given night, but I would be of the surprised majority if Orlando came out on top in this one.