By: Jeremy Hyman
The Wizards road trip continues out west as they take on the Phoenix Suns tonight at U.S. Airways Center (10:00 pm | TV: CSN | Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM). The Wizards beat the Suns, 127-105, just four days ago at Verizon Center.
The Wizards are coming off a tough road loss in Charlotte on Monday in which they held a five point lead in the final minutes, but saw it slip away and lost a chance to start the trip on a winning note. They have a chance to erase that game from their memory and build some momentum on the road by beating a Suns team tonight in which they routed last weekend at home.
It is rare to play a team from another conference so close together in the schedule, but that will be the case tonight as the schedule makers had the Suns finish an east coast trip just before the Wizards would begin one out west. In the game on Saturday, it was Martell Webster who stole the show as he put in a career-high 34 points on 7-10 shooting from beyond the arc. The Wizards scored a season-high 127 points and had six players score in double figures. There was very little defense played from the opposition and the Wizards took full advantage by moving the ball and tallying 30 assists as a team.
The offense continued to roll in Monday's game in Charlotte, but it was the Wizards defense that went vacant, which is something that has been a rarity this season. The Wizards gave up a season-high 119 points to a weak offensive team in the Bobcats and that is something they will need to fix heading into tonight's game in Phoenix.
The Suns enter tonight's contest having just snapped a four-game losing streak on Monday as they beat the streaking Lakers at home. They did not just beat the Lakers, but blew them out in a 99-76 win. They showed that they are capable of playing defense and can be tough when they play on their home court.
Tonight they will again be missing one of their big pieces, as center Marcin Gortat will miss the rest of the year with a foot injury. Similar to the Wizards, they don't have one guy who does a lot of the scoring, but rather rely on a bunch of players sharing the ball. They are led by their point guard Goran Dragic who is a fun point guard to watch. He is shifty and loves to get into the lane for midrange jumpers or to set up his teammates. They will likely start the Morris twins who are now back together like their days at Kansas after Marcus Morris was dealt to Phoenix at the trade deadline. Off the bench, watch for Jared Dudley as the x-factor as he can give a punch to this Suns team.
The Wizards will try and improve on their 5-26 road record by sweeping the season series against Phoenix for the first time since the 2001-02 season.
The action kicks off at 10pm.
John Wall continued his outstanding play on Monday night by leading the Wizards with 25 points on Monday night. That was coming off maybe the best week of his career in which he earned Player of the Week honors for the Eastern Conference averaging 24 points and 11 assists for games played between March 11-17. He scored and 17 points and dished out 11 assists in Saturday night's game against Phoenix and there is no reason his offense will slow down against a poor defensive team tonight.
Opposite Wall tonight will Goran Dragic who has taken over the reigns in Phoenix after Steve Nash was dealt to Los Angeles in the off-season. Dragic can also shoot the ball well and does so from all over the court. He can get into the lane, score in traffic, and sometimes finds interesting ways to get the ball in the hole with some creative shots. He scored 12 points and dished out 11 assists in Saturday's game in Washington and he will be one of the major keys for the Suns in tonight's game.
In the clip below, Wall hangs in the air and blocks Dragic.
In the clip below, Wall gets the steal and the finish.