Based on the results of their games over the last few years it doesn't seem like the Suns and Clippers like each other very much. The next episode in this acrimonious rivalry will take place tonight as the Suns close out a three game road trip.

When: Monday December 8, 2014, 8:30 PM local time (10:30 EST)

Where: STAPLES Center Los Angeles, CA

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

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Last Meeting:

The Clippers mopped the floor with the Suns in a home game November 15th earlier this season 120-107. The game was tied at 54 at halftime before the Clippers blew the game open with a 42-20 third quarter. The only pyrotechnics in the second half of this game were due to extracurricural activites, with five players drawing a total of seven technical fouls and Matt Barnes and Gerald Green getting ejected.

Matt Barnes is a real peach.

Green scored 26 points in the loss with four threes prior to exiting stage left with a buck fifty seven left in the fourth quarter. Alex Len had one of the best games of his career as he tallied 17 points and 11 rebounds. The four starters not named Goran Dragic combined for 17 points with Eric Bledsoe managing just one on 0-6 shooting against his former team. The Suns' reserves outscored the starters 71-36.

Chris Paul drained three of his five triples at the start of the third quarter to stretch the lead to double digits and things unraveled quickly for Phoenix. Paul got the very slight upperhand on former teammate Bledsoe in the game as he outscored him by 31 points (32-1). DeAndre Jordan had a fairly inhuman line with 12 points, 18 boards and 7 blocks. That's a decent night at the office.

Last season the Clippers were a nemesis for the Suns, beating Phoenix three times over the last 23 games of the season while the Suns were making their (failed) push for the playoffs. In their last meeting on April 2, 2014 the Suns squandered a 17 point third quarter lead and collapsed in the fourth quarter. The Clippers outscored Phoenix 34-17 in the period to steal a 112-108 victory on the Suns' home floor. There were only three technicals in that game (Barnes, Paul, Bledsoe).

Going back a little further I'm sure most Suns fans can remember the Jared Dudley/Blake Griffin scuffle in 2012.

Team Bios:

Los Angeles Clippers: 14-5

Points per game: 106.4 (4th) Points allowed: 98.5 (9th)

ORtg: 113.5 (3rd) DRtg: 105.1 (11th)

Full team statistics.

Since a sluggish 5-4 start the Clippers have won nine of their last ten games and have currently run off seven victories in a row. They are absolutely pistol whipping teams, too, winning each of their last five by at least 16 points. To put their stellar play even further into perspective, the Clippers just went 6-1 on a recent road trip.

That's pretty good.

Blake Griffin (22.9 points, 7.5 rebounds) and Chris Paul (17.9 points, 9.8 assists) still lead the charge, DeAndre Jordan (12.2 rebounds, 2.5 blocks) terrorizes the lane, Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick fill it up from three and Matt Barnes is basically a punk.

Phoenix Suns: 12-9

Points per game: 105.2 (5th) Points allowed: 103.1 (25th)

ORtg: 107.7 (11th) DRtg: 105.5 (14th)

Full team statistics.

Your Phoenix Suns are coming off a less than clinquant performance against the Houston Rockets in a 100-95 loss on Saturday night. Somehow the Suns were still in the game late in the fourth quarter despite shooting 7-28 from three point range and getting outrebounded 57-40. The Morris brothers struggled mightily and finished a combined 4-23 from the field. Sticking with the Matt Barnes theme of players I don't like, Patrick Beverley was the Rockets fourth quarter hero and made huge plays by hitting timely threes and seemingly coming up with every rebound down the stretch.

The Suns shot just 36.6% from the field against Houston after blistering the Dallas Mavericks for 56.3% the previous night and hitting exactly 50% against the Indiana Pacers prior to that. Of course the embarrassing loss to the Orlando Magic, in which the Suns shot just 40%, preceded these efforts and illustrates just how uneven Phoenix's play has been recently.

Goran Dragic appears to be pulling out of his early season swoon and is now leading the team with 16 points per game, but the Suns are still scoring by committee with five players averaging at least 14.5 per game. Super subs Gerald Green and Isaiah Thomas are ninth and tenth in the NBA in points per minute among players with at least 10 appearances this season. Thomas will be a game time decision.

What To Watch For:

A Donnybrook: Maybe I'm inventing this, but these teams really don't seem to like each other. I know for sure that I don't like the Clippers. The triumvirate of Paul, Griffin and Barnes is the most repugnant of any team in the NBA. Barnes, especially, has his very own place in my cold dead heart. I'm setting the over/under for technical fouls at 2.5 and I really hope the Suns put a savage beating on these fools.

Kieff: Morris was just 2-10 from the field in his last meeting against the Clippers and finished with as many fouls (five) as points. Not good. In his last game against the Rockets he was a ghastly 2-14 and finished with more fouls (six) than points (four). Again... not good. Markieff has been generally very productive this season, with those two games very probably his worst of the season. If he can offset the impact of Blake Griffin the Suns will have a great chance to win this game. Yes, I realize that's a asking a lot.

Bledsoe: Eric has failed to have a standout game against his former team, totaling just 22 points in three games. His matchup against Paul is another that could swing the game.

Isaiah's Ankle: Phoenix could really use his scoring punch back in the lineup. Not only for tonight's game, but to let Hornacek distribute the minutes in a manner that lightens the load for tomorrow's back to back against the Miami Heat.

The Final Word(s):

Have I mentioned I don't like the Clippers?

This would be a huge win for the Suns, especially since there is no expectation that this is a game they "should" or "need to" win. Total house money situation.

With the white hot stretch of basketball the Clippers are in the midst of it will be a tall order.

Hopefully the Suns will at least come out with a burning passion and seething vitriol befitting this inimical rivalry. Hopefully some shots will fall, too.

My prediction: please don't get blown out.

Your recap of the week that was for the Phoenix Suns, plus a look at the week ahead.

At 12-9 on the season, the Phoenix Suns have passed the 20-game milestone and we can begin identifying some of the characteristics of this enigmatic team. 20 games surely don't lend to any firm conclusions, but it at least moves discussions past the 'small sample-size' disclaimer that stymies so much meaningful analysis.

There's a lot to dig into, so join me in the nerdery (aka basketball-reference.com) and let's get started.

The 3PG rotation is a work in progress

While Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe and Isaiah Thomas have all produced well individually, the trio has yet to form the 48-minute blitz that was envisioned over the summer. Aside from the quick start in the first two games vs the Lakers and Spurs, there have been only two games in which the Slash Triplets have all scored in double-figures, and one of them was against the Philadelphia Asterisks, who render all data inconclusive (the other was vs. BKN). Thus far, Thomas' contributions have come in the form of shooting the team back into the game when the starters struggle. Once the little guy returns to the court, it'd be nice to see the three of them build leads together.

The Suns are mad

If you had asked me before the season started to pick a statistic that the Suns would lead the league in, technical fouls would not have come to mind. A little feistiness is always welcome, but when it doesn't yield any on-court results it just makes them look like Ben Stiller's character Mr. Furious in the mediocre film "Mystery Men", whose "superpower" was simply to get really, really mad and ... that was about it. Eric Bledsoe has led the charge with a league-leading 6 techs. Guess he's a man of more than a few words after all.

Despite the Suns' anger, they are also generous.

Scoring from the field can be difficult in the NBA, so the Suns have offered to help out their counterparts by allowing a league-leading 601 FTA. Alex Len is the leading offender with an ignominious 6.1 fouls per 36 minutes. If this issue can be curbed it would figure to pay huge dividends, because...

The Suns can defend!

Well, by Suns standards, anyway. Currently their defense is ranked 13th (going by DRtg), and they are particularly adept at defending jump-shooters, giving up the lowest FG% from 10-16 feet in the NBA (.309). They continue to excel at defending the 3-point line, only allowing 24% of all FGA to come from outside (7th in NBA) on a 34% success rate (10th in NBA). They also force turnovers on 15% of opponents' possessions (6th in NBA). If they can figure out this 'defend without fouling' thing, this could easily be a top-ten defense.

Goran is still the Dragon

After a pedestrian start to the season in which Dragic had us all concerned (whether we admitted it or not) that he had regressed from his fire-breathing 2013/14 campaign, he is back to torching the nets again. Despite not hitting a 3FG until the sixth game of the season, he is currently back to a respectable .355 3P% and is hitting 2's at a .542 clip, bested only by Alex Len. Breathe easy, everyone.

Alex Len is the best center prospect in Suns' history

Ok so this is only my opinion, but I see no reason to be modest. Excluding Alvan Adams and Amare Stoudemire from the conversation, since they would have been PF's in any NBA city other than Phoenix, there has never been a young center with this kind of potential in the franchise's history. Shotblocking? Well he's 7'1, so yeah. Foot speed? The dude can beat SF's down the floor. Shooting? Yup, getting better each game. Athleticism? His ankles are no longer keeping him grounded. Work ethic? Seems like all the guy does is train. Len has every tool that one could reasonably ask for out of the center position. His development has perhaps been the most significant footnote of the earlygoing, as we all plead to the basketball gods to keep his body healthy. After William Bedford, Neal Walk, Oliver Miller, Jake Tsakalidis and the Lew Alcindor coin-flip, they owe us this.

T.J. Warren demands your attention

The imminent return of Isaiah Thomas will unfortunately bring with it a logjam at the wing positions, since Gerald Green does too many amazing things to be kept on the bench, but rookie T.J. Warren is ready for minutes now. There isn't any point in citing statistics here since Warren has only amassed 84 minutes of court time, but watching the young gun on the floor makes it obvious that he will produce immediately. He already has a knack for generating extra possessions and we know from his days at N.C. State that he can score from anywhere. #freetonybuckets

The offense is faster, but less efficient

Swapping Channing Frye for Isaiah Thomas has led to an overall uptick in pace (95.8, 4th in NBA), but the resulting decrease in floor-spacing has reduced the overall efficiency (ORtg dropped from 109.5 to 107.7). Jeff Hornacek obviously was aware of this, recently making his first in-season lineup change (excluding those necessitated by injury) of his coaching career, reinstating P.J. Tucker and his corner-pocket shooting with the starters in exchange for the more midrange-happy Marcus Morris. Expect the team's shooting efficiency to round into form as the season progresses.

Eric Bledsoe and Gerald Green are not human

Click here for evidence. And here. And here, and here.

The West is stupid

During the summer I argued that no Western playoff team significantly improved over the summer, and that one or more of them was ripe to suffer a drop-off. I'll go ahead and order that humble pie now. The Mavs, Warriors, Grizzlies, Rockets and Blazers all are better teams than they were last season, plus the Spurs and Clippers are still the Spurs and Clippers. If that's not enough, the Thunder's season basically only started a few days ago when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook returned from injury. This season's playoff race is shaping up to make last year's look like a pillow fight.

In summation...

To recap, the Suns are a foul-happy, defensively adept, fast-scoring, short-tempered collection of talented freaks that doesn't always blend well and have the misfortune of playing in one of the most competitive conferences in NBA history, but perhaps most importantly hey have at least two very valuable young prospects. I have seen more than a few grumblings that this season hasn't been enjoyable, yet this seems to me to be easily the most compelling and significant Suns season in years when you add up the sum, both in a micro and macro sense.

If you haven't been entertained thus far, just wait till trade season starts.

Moving on to the week that was...

Roundup (click the links for full recaps)

Dec 2 vs Indiana Pacers, W 116-99

The second matchup of the season with the Pacers ended in predictable fashion -- with a blowout victory for the Suns. The first game with Tucker in the starting lineup seemed to kickstart the offense, as the Slash Brothers broke loose for 64 points on 35 shot attempts. The Suns have won the last 4 over Indiana by an average margin of 18 points. That is utter domination.

Dec 5 @ Dallas MavericksW 118-106

The signature win of the season thus far, the Suns controlled the game from the opening tip and secured a convincing win on the road against a powerful Western foe. The Slash Brothers were at it again with 47 points and 20 assists. Markieff Morris chipped in a solid 22 points and 10 boards.

Dec 6 @ Houston Rockets, L 100-95

The Suns once again were visibly drained during a B2B game. Do these guys need more spinach in their diet or what? The rims in Houston were destroyed by a 7/28 onslaught from 3, while they shot an unsightly 36% overall. The Rockets were also sluggish and short-handed, but the Suns couldn't capitalize.

Stat Lines Of The Week

The Good: Goran Dragic

The Dragon's decimation of the Pacers gets the nod here, as he needed only 15 FGA to net 34 points. He drained 5/6 3's, and chipped in 5 rebounds and 4 steals to boot for a staggering ORtg of 161.

The Bad: Monta Ellis

The only thing keeping the Mavs game from being a total blowout was the Suns' complete inability to corral Monta Have-It-All. The only blemish on an otherwise sparkling evening.

The Ugly: Markieff Morris

Kieff gets the dubious distinction with his ghastly line of 2/14 shooting, 4 points and 6 fouls versus the Rockets. Kieff has been perhaps the steadiest contributor thus far, so chalk this up as an aberration and let's all forget that it happened.

On The Horizon

  • Monday, Dec 8 @ LA Clippers
  • Tuesday, Dec 9 vs Miami Heat
  • Friday, Dec 12 vs Detroit Pistons
  • Sun, Dec 14 @ Oklahoma City Thunder

The Suns will complete a four-games-five-nights stretch with a B2B at the Clips before returning home for Miami. The petulant Clippers have already notched a win over Phoenix this season, 120-107 in LA on 11/15. The Heat have lost four of five, but haven't dropped one to the Suns since 11/3/09. Of course the dynamic is a bit different with LeBron James out of the picture this time around.

The Pistons seem to be one of the few cupcakes on the Suns' schedule for the next month plus, but have proved to be a frustrating matchup. The Suns have won two of the last three meetings, including an ugly 88-86 win on 11/19, but the combined point differential in those three games has been only eight points. Don't forget about the rivalry that suddenly emerged between Kieff and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Subplots!

The Pistons just dropped their 11th straight game in humiliating fashion, losing to the Sixers in overtime at home. It'll be interesting to see how much losing Stan Van can stand.

Finally, Oklahoma City is ready to make a push from the bottom with the returns of Durant and Westbrook. The Suns match up favorably with the Thunder, taking two out of three last year. This is their first meeting of the season.

Good luck, Suns fans. Happy Monday.

Goran Dragic is the Suns player of the week for the 2nd time this season after posting extraordinary stat lines against the Magic, Pacers and Mavericks.

First of all, let me make this clear at the beginning of the article.

Last night's game against the Houston Rockets was not considered in choosing this week's top player. That game will count for next week.

Why? It's just a matter of keeping the schedule consistent and maintaining a 7-day week. I also made the highlight video before the Rockets game, so it wouldn't make sense for me to refer to that game and then show you a video with no highlights from the match, would it?

Oh, and I'm also lazy and put off writing this until Sunday night when I could have done it before. I'm a procrastinator by nature (just ask my former Bleacher Report editor).

But now, on to business. That Goran Dragic guy is pretty good. And as much as I wanted to choose Bledsoe as player of the week for the first time, you cannot deny the honors to the Dragon when he plays as well as he did against Orlando, Indiana and Dallas.

Here are his averages for the week: 28 points, 5 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game, not to mention 62% shooting from the field, 61% shooting from three-point range and 94% shooting from the free-throw line. That is efficiency we have not seen from Dragic since February 2014, when he consistently dominated opponents while Bledsoe sat on the sidelines.

This is clear, undeniable proof that Dragic is the same, efficient player that he was last season. His shooting percentages are now just a tad under what they were at last year, with the exception of his free-throw shooting, which has actually improved significantly (from 76% to 86%).

His overall drop in production can be attributed, therefore, to a drop in minutes played as well as a drop in usage rate. Dragic produced more than seven assists in a game this season for the first time against the Mavericks, as he controlled the offense for much of the time and finished with 13 dimes. In most other games, Isaiah Thomas and Eric Bledsoe forced Dragic into an off-ball role, and his production suffered as a result.

So, what will happen when Thomas finally returns? I don't mean to start another heated debate over Thomas' role and future with Phoenix, but there is a reason that he is the most polarizing player on the team. Here we have a young player, who would start on most NBA teams, making just $27 million over the next four years. That is the type of value in a contract that many general managers would dream to have.

And then there's Dragic, who will likely command more than twice that amount of money on the open market despite being several years older.

So does Thomas' value come from the fact that his contract is such a bargain to us, or is he valuable because his contract is attractive to potential trade partners? In other words, should the Suns declare the experiment a failure and attempt to trade Thomas' bargain contract (along with other pieces) for the big man that they so desperately need to make a playoff push?

Has the experiment even failed in the first place?

For the record, I'm going to go with no. In fact, I'll shut up about the whole thing now, because it's much too early to make sweeping generalizations about the players. The games against the Pacers and Mavericks this week do indeed prove that Bledsoe and Dragic are capable of great things at their best; but the game against the Rockets might be evidence that sometimes, you could use an Isaiah Thomas to bail you out off the bench.

Oh yeah, I promised you a highlight video. Here it is.

Also make sure to vote on the poll below for your player of the week.

Poll
Who is your Suns player of the week?

  181 votes | Results

Gerald Green spent eight years trying to find his place in the NBA before a trade sent him to the Phoenix Suns. That transition was the fulcrum on which Gerald resurrected his career and turned into a super sub and one of the most electrifying players and incendiary scorers in the league.

I like Gerald Green.

The Gorilla gets the cover art, so I decided to put a picture of Gerald in here.

Gerald Green is the Human Torch. I wasn't sure whether the 4 on his chest was emblematic of the moniker "Four Fingered Assassin" or if I should photoshop a 1 in front of it for his jersey number. Either way, this is how I've been picturing Green lately when he enters (per Goran Dragic) video game mode.

I've had more than a couple opportunities to let that vision dance through my head, since Green has busted out the flamethrower on multiple occasions. Here are a few of his more spectacular outings.

11/4 - Suns 112, Lakers 106

Green entered the game at the beginning of the second quarter with the Suns leading 26-24 and poured in 13 as the Suns stretched their lead to 58-46 by halftime. He then made a curtain call by scoring 11 of the team's first 15 points in the fourth quarter as the Suns avoided an embarrassing loss to the loathsome Lakers. Gerald finished the game with 26 points on 11-19 shooting.

11/9 - Suns 107, Warriors 95

The Suns were down 79-71 to start the fourth quarter in a game they hadn't led since the score was 26-25. Green then rattled off eight consecutive points to give Phoenix their first lead (83-82) since the first quarter. The final tally of the carnage was 16 points in the quarter as the Suns surged past Golden St. for one of its signature wins of the season. Green finished with 19 points, with three of his four triples coming during the fourth quarter fulmination.

11/12 - Suns 112, Nets 104

The Suns dug themselves a huge hole early in this game (38-19) before the Gerald Green show began. GG scored 18 points over a seven minute stretch to help keep the Suns from getting boat raced. With the Suns still trailing to start the fourth, Isaiah Thomas (12) and Gerald (10) combine to score 22 points in the quarter and help the Suns complete the comeback. Green hit 11-12 from the free throw line in the game and scored a season high 28 points.

11/22 - Suns 106, Pacers 83

The pyrotechnics started early in this one, as Green scored the Suns' final 12 points of the first quarter over the last 3:06. Green hit two more threes early in the second, the last of which put Phoenix up 43-31. If you're counting at home that's another 18 point outburst in just over seven minutes. The Suns would ultimately cruise to victory as Green finished with five from deep and 23 points.

11/26 - Suns 120, Nuggets 112

Green came up jumbo large in a period spanning the end of the third and beginning of the fourth period. His 16 points were mostly of the spectacular variety and energized the crowd while demoralizing the helpless Nuggets. Gerald scorched Denver with a season high six long distance bombs and elicited the "you're like a video game" compliment/assessment from teammate Goran Dragic.

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Green was an amazing +72 in those five games. Plus/minus isn't always a great tool to accurately measure a player's impact, but in these cases I think it's very apropos. Green is a pyromaniac's basketball dream. I'm surprised he hasn't been charged with arson in a post game interview.

Gerald does tend to suffer from the feast or famine mechanic, but he's not exactly disappearing in his more human outputs. Green has scored double digits in each of the team's last 10 games while only shooting less than 40% in two of them. He hit at least two three pointers in seven of the games.

The 20+ outbursts have become one of Green's calling cards. The other is his foudroyant, jaw-dropping dunks.

Here is a picture of me watching G Twice going nuclear.

Is this a fan boy article? Yes.

This is a fan site, though. I write here because of my passion for the Suns and the enjoyment it brings me. The wages are exiguous - it's kind of like working for peanuts... except there are no peanuts. The benefits are all non-tangible perquisites (Dave is really stingy with the raises, but don't let him know I told you that) related to my love of the game and ability to express myself.

Special players like Gerald Green help make this worthwhile. He is truly a treasure. He does things that almost no other NBA players can do.

I don't know your viewing habits, but I enjoy being wowed. Every time Green steps on the court I find myself wondering if he's about to enter fire mode on NBA Jam. Markieff Morris (as a random whipping boy) just doesn't do that for me.

Sure, Markieff has been very productive this year. He's been relatively steady, too (2-14 vs. Houston notwithstanding). But Gerald Green is like a trip to Disneyland in comparison to the Markieff Morris root canal.

With Gerald I expectantly await the amazing. He might account for half of the team's best highlights by himself. When Green cuts off a passing lane and breaks into the open court I hold my breath awaiting the impending doom of the opponent's rim. When Dragic or Bledsoe does that, I am very confident they'll make their layup.

Green plays with a contagious passion and energy. Raw emotion.

I've even appointed Green his very own theme music.

But not everything burns bright white for Gerald this season.

Green has seen his minutes wizen from 28.4 per game last season to 21.8 so far this season. This is despite the fact that he is averaging 24.0 points per 36 minutes, good for ninth in the league among players with at least 10 appearances. Marreese Speights is the only reserve above him on the list.

Surely some of this drop off is due to the arrival of Isaiah Thomas, who happens to be tenth in the league in points per 36, but Green has still only averaged 23.7 minutes in the last six games Isaiah has missed.

Green has five games of at least 20 points this season through 21 games. Last season he had 25 such games when he started 48 times and appeared in all 82. Green has yet to miss a game since coming to the Suns.

In his reduced role, Green is still eighth in the league in made three pointers (46) and pacing for 180 on the season. Last season he was fourth with 204.

Just like his backcourt brethren, Green has felt the crunch from the crowded conditions. All four horsemen have seen a reduction in raw production. Like Dragic, Green is in a contract year. Like Dragic, Green is playing for his last big payday.

This is a delicate situation for one of my favorite playes on the team. Green was a starter by necessity for a good part of last season due to injuries to Eric Bledsoe. Green actually played the fourth most minutes per game, behind only Dragic, Bledsoe and P.J. Tucker.

This season Green is eighth.

So what is the plan for Green?

How does one monetarily quantify Green's value as a player who can almost single-handedly carry a team to victory about 20 games a season? What is market value for one of the best and most impactful reserves in the league? How about the entertainment value that is an inherent part of Green's game? Gerald is must see tv.

Including this season, Gerald has made less than $16 million in his NBA career. With the pending escalation of the salary cap I imagine that he is probably looking to double that on a four year deal this summer. While Isaiah was a bargain, will Green have a hard time breaking $30 million?

Two years ago Jamal Crawford signed a four year, ~$21 million contract. He was 32. Gerald will be 29 this summer.

What are Green's ambitions? With the paucity of elite talent at the shooting guard position in the NBA Green could undoubtedly find a starting role with a team this summer. Of the top 30 scoring shooting guards in the NBA only Lou Williams of the Toronto Raptors plays less minutes than Green.

Will money and situation create a rift between Green and the Suns? Will he end up being the odd man out... the green kangaroo?

Possibly.

Which may very well lead to the Suns being a less exciting team... and that would be a shame.

Check out this compilation of all 57 of Green's dunks from last season for a reminder why...

After an easy schedule to start the season, the Phoenix Suns face a daunting slate of games through early January. By January 11, the Suns will have played 24 road games versus only 16 home games. That kind of scheduling makes you think the Grinch himself made the Suns schedule.

The good news is that the Suns can get those roadies out of the way earlier in the year, leaving the second half of the season's slate full of home games when the pressure ratchets up a few notches.

But for now, the road is the Suns' path to contention. Or, at least, the relevancy.

Coach Hornacek explained last week that the Suns have split their schedule into 4-game sets - home vs. away. If the Suns can win 3 out of each 4 home games and split each 4-game set of roadies, they would have 50 wins at the end of the year and would likely make the playoffs.

So far, the Suns are behind the bar at home (6-4) and slightly ahead of the bar on the road (6-5). Unfortunately, the team failed to capitalize on an opening schedule that put 7 of the first 9 games at home. But two of their early games were back-to-back sets, with the Suns dropping both of them in ignominious fashion.

After that, the Suns have spent a lot of time on the road, with 10 of 14 away from Phoenix including four back-to-back sets culminating in Tuesday's home game against scrappy Miami. The Miami game looks winnable, except that it will be the Suns' fourth game in five days, a night after trying not to be embarrassed by the Clippers in LA.

So while the schedule has looked quite manageable so far in terms of opponent winning percentage, the devil is in the road games. Those are notoriously difficult to win, no matter how easy the opponent.

And the Suns aren't done on the road yet. Including Monday's Clipper game (above), the Suns still have 9 road games coming (versus 4 home games) between now and January 11. These upcoming games including four more back-to-backs where the Suns are 1-4 already in second game of those sets.

Making matters worse, there's only a couple of winnable games based on how well these teams are playing. The Suns face a daunting task of staying afloat between now and January 11.

Let's hope Isaiah Thomas comes back soon to add a little more firepower to the offense, which has sputtered in three of the past six games without him.

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