After a disappointing loss to the undermanned Miami Heat, the Phoenix Suns will head to the road starting with a game against the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday. Phoenix is as healthy as ever and will look to bounce in a big way against a surging team.
The Phoenix Suns were uncharacteristically sloppy in their offense and lackluster on defense in their loss to the Heat. They allowed their opponents to get going early and never really recovered from the barrage of three-point shots, eventually losing 123-100.
Phoenix will surely try to have a better sense of urgency against a team that’s starting to gain momentum.
The Toronto Raptors are riding a season-high six-game winning streak. Pascal Siakam, who missed the team’s first 10 games is starting to look like his All-Star self. Fred VanVleet has also been on a tear, making the athletic Raptors look like legit playoff contenders.
Head coach Nick Nurse and the coaching staff will be expecting a determined Suns team who will be looking to put the frustrating loss behind them. If the visiting team stays true to form, the Raptors will be up for a very competitive night.
Fixture: Phoenix Suns vs Toronto Raptors | 2021-22 NBA season
Date & Time: Tuesday, January 11th; 7:30 PM ET (Wednesday, January 12th; 6:00 AM IST)
Venue: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
Phoenix Suns Preview
The Phoenix Suns probably played their worst game of the season against the resilient Miami Heat. Despite huge scoring nights from Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson, they shouldn’t have been that outmatched considering the Heat’s thin lineup.
Chris Paul, unsurprisingly, also had a poor game by his standards. He only had nine points, two rebounds and seven assists with four turnovers. The Phoenix Suns were almost bursting with energy when role players like Bismack Biyombo and Jalen Smith were on the floor in the last few games.
They should be back to their usual selves once they get their energy and effort back.
Key Player - Chris Paul
How CP3 plays largely dictates how the Phoenix Suns will do. With Paul seemingly out of rhythm, the team greatly struggled on both ends of the floor. The Point God leads the league in assists but did not have his usual metronome game.
Credit has to be given to Kyle Lowry for completely dominating the point guard matchup. Knowing how fiercely competitive Chris Paul is, he will surely be looking to redeem himself in a big way against the Toronto Raptors.
Phoenix Suns Predicted Lineup
G - Chris Paul | G - Devin Booker | F - Mikal Bridges | F - Jae Crowder | C - Deandre Ayton
Toronto Raptors Preview
The Toronto Raptors finally have nearly their entire squad fit and healthy. Nick Nurse previously built a championship squad with a defensive identity anchored on length, athleticism and Kawhi Leonard. He’s trying to replicate that same formula with outstanding results of late.
Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Khem Birch and Chris Boucher and practically the entire lineup is a sea of arms and length. They are switchable on offense and defense and are a tough cover for any team.
Fred VanVleet is probably the sole exemption to the Raptors’ new identity, but he plays so much bigger than his frame. He is also an energizer bunny that never stops moving, shouting directions and orchestrating plays. The pint-sized point guard could even make the All-Star team and not raise an eyebrow.
Key Player - Fred VanVleet
In the midst of all the length and boundless athleticism is a bulky and short point guard who is the leader of the Raptors. In his last 8 games, Fred VanVleet is averaging an impressive 30.6 points, 7.6 assists and 4.9 rebounds. He has been scorching-hot from long-distance, converting 45.6% of his three-point attempts.
The NBA named the Toronto Raptors’ point guard as the Eastern Conference Player of the Week, which is very deserving. Toronto’s uptick in form and confidence is certainly not beyond coincidence when VanVleet’s play is taken into consideration.
Toronto Raptors Predicted Lineup
G - Fred VanVleet | G - OG Anunoby | F - Pascal Siakam | F - Scottie Barnes | C - Khem Birch
Suns vs Raptors Match Prediction
The Phoenix Suns have the third-best net rating in the NBA trailing the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns. Either the Heat completely took them out of their game or they just made the mistake of looking past their opponents’ short-handed lineup. Regardless of the reason, they will surely come out with aggression and energy.
If the Suns stay in character, they could snap the Raptors’ winning run in an edge-of-your-seat ball game.
Where to watch the Suns vs Raptors game
The NBA League Pass will stream the game live. Local coverage of the matchup is available via Bally Sports Arizona and TSN.