The Phoenix Suns continue their road trip on Saturday as they face the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. Coming off wins against their respective opponents, both the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies will have momentum heading into the match with the former having a slight edge as they have won 10 of their last 12 games.
The Memphis Grizzlies, however, have won two straight and three of their previous four contests and are slowly getting back to winning ballgames after losing four straight earlier in the month.
Fixture - Phoenix Suns vs Memphis Grizzlies | 2020-21 NBA Season
Date & Time - Saturday, February 20th, 9:00 PM ET (Thursday, February 21st, 7:30 AM IST)
Venue - FedExForum, Memphis, TN
Phoenix Suns Preview
Chris Paul has been the main reason for the Phoenix Suns' rise this season and it shows in their current record of 18-10. They are fifth in the Western Conference and tied with fourth-place Portland Trail Blazers. If not for their disastrous collapse against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, the Phoenix Suns would’ve been fourth right now.
They came back from an 11-point deficit in a huge way in last night’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans to win 132-114. It was exhibit A of why Paul is perhaps the most underrated big-name signing of the offseason.
Key Player - Chris Paul
When discussing the Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker is the first player that comes to mind. But Chris Paul is the player who makes this team go and is the biggest reason why the Suns could be one of the most dangerous playoff opponents in the Western Conference.
His leadership and experience have been a big boost to the team’s confidence and it shows in the Suns’ execution. Over the aforementioned 12-game period in which Paul played in 11 of them, he averaged 20.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 8.4 assists and 1.7 steals per game in just 31.7 minutes of action.
The 35-year old playmaker will be matched up against the Memphis Grizzlies’ young and super athletic Ja Morant but he’ll have help.
Phoenix Suns Predicted Lineup
G Chris Paul G Devin Booker F Mikal Bridges F Frank Kaminsky C Deandre Ayton
Memphis Grizzlies Preview
It’s difficult for a team on the rise to lose its star player for a lengthy period and then plug him in again and then expect the team to just pick up where they left off. Since Ja Morant returned to the Memphis Grizzlies lineup on Jan. 16, the Grizzlies have been on a roller-coaster ride, winning eight times and losing six. They’re 13-12 on the season and nipping on the heels of the Golden State Warriors for eighth place in the West.
Now that they’ve won two straight games, the Memphis Grizzlies head into the Phoenix Suns matchup believing that they can extend their streak and that they match up well with the visiting team.
Key Player - Ja Morant
Ja Morant’s rise as the leader of the Memphis Grizzlies came naturally and the team has embraced him, knowing that he’s the future of the franchise. There are few young players with as much potential to be an all-time great as the 21-year old. He’s still learning the game and he is humble enough to admit that he needs to play better to elevate his team’s performance.
Since returning from an ankle injury, Morant has been averaging 17.9 points and 8.4 assists. His scoring needs some consistency but that will come in time. When faced against Chris Paul, Morant has to make sure that he makes smart decisions on the floor as the Phoenix Suns point guard is one of the craftier players he will face.
Memphis Grizzlies Predicted Lineup
G Ja Morant G Grayson Allen F Kyle Anderson F Brandon Clarke C Jonas Valanciunas
Suns vs Grizzlies Match Prediction
Despite the recent loss to the Nets, the Phoenix Suns made up for it with the win against the Pelicans. They may have needed a fourth-quarter performance for the ages to secure the victory, but it showed the kind of firepower they possess that teams should be wary of.
For the Memphis Grizzlies, a victory in this contest could propel them to an extended winning streak. It would be one of their better quality wins over the past two weeks, against one of the hotter teams in the league.
Who will win this? The Memphis Grizzlies have a shot especially if Morant can win his matchup with Paul. But the Phoenix Suns appear to be better all around and they have a deeper bench. Any team can be beaten in this league so this game could still go Memphis’ way.