Winners of 12 consecutive games, the Phoenix Suns are showing the NBA why they are legitimate title contenders this season. In their utter annihilation of the Denver Nuggets, they turned the first quarter into a virtual 12-minute House of Highlights collection.
Despite the impressive offensive display of coach Monty Williams’ team, it has been their defense that has allowed them to shake off a slow start. Since suffering defeat at the hands of the Sacramento Kings on October 27 for a 1-3 record, they have not lost again. Chris Paul and Devin Booker continue to lead the way for the Phoenix Suns.
The San Antonio Spurs have lost four straight games, which have been as lopsided as they looked. Coach Gregg Popovich is almost always satisfied with the hustle and competitiveness of his youngsters, but they clearly lack support for Dejounte Murray. If the 25-year old struggles like he did against the Minnesota Timberwolves, opponents will quickly pounce on the opportunity to finish the game as soon as possible.
The Phoenix Suns will probably be coming over for another lesson in the making. The San Antonio Spurs’ collective lineup will have to double what they have been doing so far to defend their home floor on Monday.
Fixture: Phoenix Suns vs San Antonio Spurs | 2021-22 NBA season
Date & Time: Monday, November 22nd; 8:30 PM ET (Tuesday, November 23rd; 7:00 AM IST)
Venue: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
Phoenix Suns Preview
Pace has been a big factor in the Phoenix Suns' best run of wins in more than a decade. Chris Paul, Devin Booker and Mikal Bridges have been deadly when their opponents are trying to organize the defense. Paul’s ability to read defensive coverage has been the catalyst for a very fluid attack from inside and out. The NBA’s assists leader is almost unstoppable when forcing the defense on its heels.
The Phoenix Suns’ ability to pressure the ball without over-committing has allowed them to suffocate offenses. Even when their shots do not fall, they have been able to snatch wins out of the jaws of defeat because of their defense. They are fifth in the league in steals and allow teams only 104.4 PPG, which is ninth in the league.
Key Player - Chris Paul
Chris Paul may have lost a step, but he remains one of the best players in the league even at age 36. He leads the NBA in assists and steals, underlining his dominance on offense and defense for the Phoenix Suns. His value, however, is more than just the numbers on the stat sheet.
The 11-time All-Star’s ability to address defensive coverage and set up teammates is the gold standard for the NBA. Sometimes, what he does will not show on the stat, but there is no doubt who runs this team on both ends of the floor. With Chris Paul, the Phoenix Suns have bona fide title aspirations.
Phoenix Suns Predicted Lineup
G - Chris Paul | G - Devin Booker | F - Mikal Bridges | F - Jae Crowder | C - Deandre Ayton
San Antonio Spurs Preview
The San Antonio Spurs can’t buy a bucket without Dejounte Murray. Considering that DJM’s shooting is not his best asset, Pop’s team is in a lot of trouble on offense.
San Antonio’s offense is predicated on drives to the baskets and putbacks. They are last in the league in three-point shots drained, which only makes the inside forays such torture.
One thing that has stood out for the San Antonio Spurs this season other than Dejounte Murray’s performance is the emergence of Devin Vassell. The second-year pro is having a career year in almost all statistical categories. His increase in point production is one of the best in the NBA.
Vassell is also turning out to be a monster on defense. He will be severely tested by the deadly Phoenix Suns backcourt.
Key Player - Dejounte Murray
As mentioned above, Dejounte Murray’s value to the San Antonio Spurs cannot be overstated. He leads the team in scoring, assists and steals. The former All-NBA Defensive team member is also a hair away from being the team’s best rebounder despite being a point guard.
The hope is for him to develop his outside shot into a more reliable weapon for the San Antonio Spurs. If he can crank up his efficiency to league average, he will become one of the best two-way players in the NBA.
San Antonio Spurs Predicted Lineup
G - Dejounte Murray | G - Derrick White | F - Doug McDermott | F - Keldon Johnson | C - Jakob Poeltl
Suns vs Spurs Match Prediction
The matchup between the Phoenix Suns and the San Antonio Spurs could be the perfect trap game for the former if they are complacent. Everyone in the NBA knows that once the Suns can get to Dejounte Murray, they will have the Spurs in a tough spot.
Dejounte Murray will face a bevy of long, smart and tough defenders against the Phoenix Suns. He will hopefully get the support that he badly needs from the rest of the group.
The Phoenix Suns could roll to another win against the San Antonio Spurs.
Where to watch the Suns vs Spurs game
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Bally Sports San Antonio and Bally Sports Arizona will cover the matchup between the Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs as it happens. The NBA League Pass will also stream the game live.