We've got a reason to look forward to the next Philadelphia/Phoenix matchup.

DEFENSE? IN PHOENIX? Alex Len and Miles Plumlee are embracing their roles as stoppers in the frontcourt.

"He's been sensational. He's got a great attitude, a great knowledge of the game and is making rapid, rapid progress," Suns President Lon Babby said regarding Len's improvement.

There's plenty of talent at the forward position as well, with the early success of T.J. Warren creating a welcomed logjam.

We're now deeper into the season, but Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said he was "comfortable" with the team's performance through 11 games.

Markieff Morris is looking to "tap all of his talent." And it's a whole bunch of talent.

"Film doesn't lie." Isaiah Thomas has been doing a little more homework recently. Let's hope that the film study is something that continues.

Eric Bledsoe is convinced the Philadelphia 76ers were out to get him during last Friday's 122-96 Phoenix road victory over the league's only remaining winless team.

And the Sixers are on the brink of history, if you didn't know.

So, evidently Bledsoe did sign his qualifying offer this summer, he just didn't send it in because "I wasn't worried about it. I knew everything would take care of itself." Wow.

Check out this new ShotTracker system that will be available starting in December. It's a wristband that will finally prove once and for all that you in fact have no jumpshot.

You will never again see Kobe Bryant play in an important basketball game. Let that sink in. Could the Lakers make a play for Goran Dragic when the season is over?

Who's the X-Factor so for this season for the Suns, who has the best 1 on 1 move, and who has had the best post-bucket celebration so far in 2014?

Charles Barkley refuses to call the basketball team in Washington the "Wizards." They'll always be the "Bullets" to The Chuckster.

Speaking of the Wizards, check out this advice that former Washington LEGEND Gilbert Arenas had for Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls.

The NBA is well represented in GQ's Least Influential list.

The Suns failed to complete the comeback victory against the Toronto Raptors. They were down 17 points in the second half.

The Suns started off hot leading by seven early till the Raptors went on a 14-2 run. The Suns went back and forth until the quarter ended with the Suns down 29-26. Markieff Morris had 8 points in the quarter. Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points for the Raptors on 5-5 shooting. Miles Plumlee and Alex Len both were in foul trouble with two fouls.

Plumlee had 3 fouls in 2 minutes and 11 seconds of playing time, he would only play three more minutes in the game. The quarter was back and forth ending with the Suns down 54-48 at half. Goran Dragic was not able to get anything going in the first half, he had 0 points on 0-4 shooting. Dragic ended the game with 6 points, 4 assists, and 4 turnovers in only 21 minutes. Green/Bledsoe/Kieff all had 9 points in the first half. Valanciunas had 17 and Lou Williams had 12 points at half. Bledsoe was 3-10 from the field in the first half.

The Suns struggled shooting the ball in the third quarter and had nine turnovers. Toronto took advantage of the Suns poor shooting and built their lead up to 81-66 going into the fourth outscoring the Suns 27-18 in the quarter.  In the last four minutes of the quarter the Suns had four turnovers on 0-8 shooting.

Hornacek took an early timeout in the fourth quarter and inspired the team. The Suns immediately went on a 14-0 run to close the gap to 83-80. Bledsoe and Thomas both had a great fourth quarter. Isaiah Thomas ended the game with 16 points with 4 threes. Bledsoe ended with 25 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks on 8-16 shooting. Green added 13 and Markieff had 17. The Suns took the lead at 95-94 with Bledsoe free throws. The Suns were down 100-98 when the ball was poked lose from Thomas ending in a jump ball between Kyle Lowry and Thomas. Lowry won the tip ending in two made free throws by DeMar DeRozan. Eric Bledsoe hit two free throws to close the gap back within two but DeRozan again hit two more free throws to seal the game for the Raptors. The Suns won the quarter 34-23 but couldn't get the win. Jonas Valanciunas ended with a career high 27 points on 10-11 shooting for the Raptors. Lowry had 14 points, DeRozan had 23 points, and Lou Williams ended with 17 points. The Suns shot 46.4% while the Raptors shot 45.1%. The final score was 104-100 Raptors.

The Suns ended their road trip 4-2.

Record: 9-6

Next Game: Home vs Denver Nuggets (6-7) Wednesday night at 7:00 PM (Arizona Time)

The Suns, the NBA’s best shooting free throw team coming into Monday, got to the foul stripe just 11 times in a 104-100 loss to the Toronto Raptors, but it was turnovers, especially late, that...

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Madhouse!  Got any fun family traditions you want to share?  Or killer recipes?  Big football or movie plans?  Get in here, turkeys, and share with the rest of us!

The Phoenix Suns wrap up a six game road trip with a skirmish against the Eastern Conference leading Toronto Raptors. Can the Suns stretch their winning streak to five and head home on a positive note?

When: Monday, November 24, 2014, 5:30 PM local time (7:30 EST)

Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

Watch/Listen: TV: FOX Sports Arizona  Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM


Last Meeting:

The Suns beat the Raptors 121-113 in Toronto on March 16, 2014. Sometimes results from previous seasons don't have much bearing, but the Raptors return all five starters and the Suns return eight of the ten players who participated in that game. Phoenix controlled the fourth quarter of the game, leading by double digits for the better part of it and never letting the Raptors get closer than eight points.

The Suns bench was big time in the victory, with Markieff Morris recording a double-double (16 points and 14 rebounds) and Gerald "the human torch" Green punishing Toronto's defense to the tune of 28 points with five three pointers. Kyle Lowry had 28 points and 13 assists in a losing effort.

Phoenix also beat Toronto 106-97 on December 6, 2013, giving them a 2-0 season series sweep.

Team Bios:

Phoenix Suns: 9-5

Points per game: 105.3 (4th)     Points against: 102.1 (23rd)

ORtg: 107.8 (11th)     DRtg: 104.5 (11th)

Full team statistics.

The Suns have gotten healthy on the road by eating a steady diet of crappy Eastern Conference opponents. The combined records of Phoenix's last four foes is an ignominious 12-39. That's ridiculous.

The Suns' next adversary, the Toronto Raptors, has just one less victory (11) than those four teams combined. Double ridiculous.

After scraping out a couple tough victories to start their East coast trip life has been easier for the Suns in their last two games. Gerald Green scored 18 points in the first half against Indiana and the Suns pulled away in the third quarter to lay a savage beating (106-83) on a depleted Pacers team in their last game on Saturday night.

Phoenix is still playing without a definitive alpha, with five players averaging between 13.4 and 15.4 points per game. The Suns have had a different leading scorer in each of their last four victories. A recurring theme has been materializing, though, with Gerald Green and Isaiah Thomas doing heavy lifting off the bench. The duo is by far the most prolific in per minute scoring on the team, providing instant offense as reserves.

Toronto Raptors: 11-2

Points per game: 106.9 (2nd)     Points against: 94.7 (6th)

ORtg: 114.1 (2nd)     DRtg: 101.0 (5th)

Full team statistics.

The Raptors are one of the more surprising teams in the league and are off to their best start in franchise history. The team returned a core that went 48-34 last season and appears to be much improved. All of this leads to the question...

How good is Toronto?

While the Raptors have benefited from a home heavy schedule to start the season, going 8-1 in nine home games, they are laying waste to their opponents. Toronto is +12.2 in point differential and have beaten seven teams by double digits. Currently, the team is in the top five in both offensive and defensive rating. While Toronto is 7-0 against sub .500 opponents, the team also has victories against the Washington Wizards (9-3, second in the Eastern Conference) and Memphis Grizzlies (12-2, first in the Western Conference).

Toronto's most recent victim was the hapless Cleveland Cavaliers, who squandered an 18 point first quarter lead on the way to getting bulldozed by the Raptors, 110-93. Louis Williams, yes the Louis Williams, exploded for 36 points off the bench in the contest.

DeMar DeRozan leads the Raptors in scoring with 20.0 points per game, while Kyle Lowry is averaging 18.8 to go along with a team high 6.0 assists a game.

What To Watch For:

The routinely erratic contributions the Suns have been receiving across the board make it pretty hard to peg any individual battles to keep an eye on. The team seems to go nine deep with players that could disappear or dominate on a nightly basis.

- Will Alex Len continue to make an impact? He continues to show new wrinkles that adumbrate auspiciously for the future.

- Will Goran Dragic bust out of a nearly season long funk that has seen him look painfully average? The Dragon has been mostly sputtering smoke, with a paltry average of 3.1 assists and only two 20 point performances through 14 games. Last season Goran scored 20+ 37 times out of 76 games.

The Final Word(s):

I like this matchup for the Suns.

Phoenix is already 4-1 on this road trip, taking care of the teams they should beat. A win against Toronto would be whipped topping on the pumpkin pie.

I like Green and/or Thomas to upstage Louis Williams and propel the Suns to victory, 108-101.

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