The Suns have won five out of their last six games and look to have things clicking defensively. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers have lost their last three outings and are currently on the outside looking in for the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
Fixture: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Phoenix Suns | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Monday, February 8th, 9:00 PM ET (Tuesday, February 9th, 7.30 AM IST)
Venue: Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix Suns Preview
This will be the third game of the Suns' seven-game home stretch. Including the Cavaliers on Monday, the Suns will be up against the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, and Brooklyn Nets on the upcoming home schedule.
However, if they avoid looking too far ahead against the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers, they will need to bring the same intensity they had on Sunday afternoon in their 100-91 victory over the Boston Celtics.
Defense has been the standard for Monty Williams' side this season. In Sunday's game, the Phoenix Suns held Boston to just 35.5% from the field and allowed only one Celtic player scored over 15 points, compared to the five they had.
They rank in the top three for adjusted defensive efficiency, allowing 107.95 points per 100 possessions, per basketball-reference.com.
If the Phoenix Suns are to continue their current winning form, they will need to stay disciplined in their defensive sets and hold the Cleveland Cavaliers to under 50% shooting from the field.
Key Player - Mikal Bridges
Mikal Bridges has played a big part in the Phoenix Suns' early success this season. He is averaging 14 points this season - the third-most on the team - on 48% shooting.
Bridges' versatility has given the Suns a reliable scoring threat outside Devin Booker and Chris Paul, forcing teams to stay honest defensively.
Against the Boston Celtics on Sunday Afternoon, Bridges led the team in scoring with 19 points on 8 of 13 shooting.
If the 24-year-old forward can maintain his efficient scoring, along with Devin Booker and Chris Paul continuing to perform at an All-Star level, the Phoenix Suns will be a tough assignment for anybody in a seven-game series.
Phoenix Suns Predicted Lineup
G Chris Paul, G Devin Booker, F Mikal Bridges, F Frank Kaminsky C Deandre Ayton
Cleveland Cavaliers Preview
For a second, the Cleveland Cavaliers looked to be the team of the future after they defeated the Brooklyn Nets in back-to-back games. That quickly faded as the Cavaliers are 2-7 since their previous victories against Kevin Durant and crew.
The biggest area of concern for the Cleveland Cavaliers is their inability to score the ball. In a league dominated by shooting and offensive ability, the Cavaliers find themselves last in non-garbage time offensive efficiency.
According to cleaningtheglass.com, they score just 104.9 points per 100 possessions, seven points less than the league average.
One aspect that might turn the Cavaliers' offense around this season is the return of veteran forward Kevin Love. Love has missed 22 straight games for Cleveland this season due to a calf injury he suffered in December. The five-time All-Star may make a return against the Phoenix Suns.
Key Player - Andre Drummond
The key player for the Cleveland Cavaliers is Andre Drummond. He is averaging 18.6 points and 14.2 rebounds a game on 47.7% shootings.
Drummond stuffed the stat sheet in his last game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. Despite the Cavaliers losing, he scored 28 points and collected 11 rebounds.
Drummond will need to continue to dominate the paint and the boards against the Phoenix Suns. The 27-year-old is likely to dominate Deandre Ayton, who is known for his inconsistent effort.
Here is what Drummond had to say after the loss against the Bucks (via Fox Sports Cleveland):
Cleveland Cavaliers' Predicted Lineup
G Darius Garland, G Collin Sexton, F Isaac Okoro, F Larry Nance Jr., C Andre Drummond
Cavaliers vs. Suns Match Prediction
The Phoenix Suns will have multiple matchup advantages against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Their effective team defense will cause problems for a Cavaliers team that has struggled to score this season.
Expect the Suns to earn their third consecutive victory at home and secure their 14th win of the season.
According to ESPN's Basketball Power Index, the Phoenix Suns have an 84.3% chance of beating the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.
Where to watch Cavaliers vs. Suns
Local coverage of the game will be available on Fox Sports Arizona and FOX Sports Ohio. You can also live stream the same via the NBA League Pass.