Phoenix Suns v Atlanta Hawks 11/30 Game Preview

Phoenix Suns (5-13) v Atlanta Hawks (10-8)

Wednesday 11/30/2016 7:00pm
Talking Stick Resort, Phoenix, AZ
Fox Sports Arizona/Arizona Sports 98.7FM

Season Series – 0-0
All-Time Series – Phoenix leads 70-52
Last Matchup – April 5, 2016 Atlanta won, 103-90
Suns’ Last Game – Loss to Denver 120-114
Hawks’ Last Game – Loss to Golden State 132-129
Suns’ Scoring AveragesPTS/G: 106.1 (11th of 30) Opp PTS/G: 112.2 (28th of 30)
Hawks’ Scoring Averages – PTS/G: 101.6 (23rd of 30) Opp PTS/G: 99.4 (9th of 30)

Preview

Phoenix Suns

The Suns lost to the Denver Nuggets in their last outing, 120-114. A terrible first half in which the Suns only scored 15 points in the second quarter was followed by a furious comeback, and 71 points in the second half, almost pulling off the comeback. Their’ 36 third quarter points helped keep the Suns with the second highest third quarter scoring average in the league behind only the Golden State Warriors. For Valley of the Suns opinions on the game, read here…The Suns may be number two in the league in third quarter scoring with 28.9, but they are twenty-sixth overall in first quarter scoring at 24.7…Having not played in several days, the Suns have dropped out of the top-5 in several categories, but still retain the position in 2PTA, FTM and FTA and TRB…As illustrated in this post about the Suns’ apparent lack of an identity, they remain near the bottom of the league in all shooting categories, including eFG% which is 26th overall at 48.2%…There are a lot of fouls called in Suns games. If you take the Suns’ average of 25.6 fouls per game (last in the league) and the 22.3 fouls that are called by their opponents (second to last in the league), a Suns game averages 47.9 stoppages in play by fouls alone. Maybe NFL refs are watching too many Suns games and think this is normal…The Suns are not a three-point shooting team, averaging only 22.7 attempts per game and are twenty-seventh in the NBA in FT% at 75.5%. By contrast, the Suns are fourth in the league with 63.7% of all points scored coming from two-pointers, less than 1% off of Indiana’s league lead at 64.6…The Suns have an NBA worst assist/turnover ratio at 1.149. This is slightly worse than their NBA worst ration from last year, 1.206…For the last five games Eric Bledsoe has looked like the Eric Bledsoe before the injury last season. In these five games, Bledsoe is averaging 26.0/7.0/6.6 with 1.6 steals and 1 block. He has also averaged 4.2 turnovers in that stretch which is well above his 3.2 season average…Bledsoe is now only .3pts below Devin Booker’s team high 19.5pts per game…Along that same five-game stretch, Devin Booker has been hot and cold, with two 30 point games against Washington and Denver, two 11 point games, and a 10 point game…Alex Len has had at least ten rebounds in four out of his five last games and has two double-doubles in that stretch now totaling five on the season. Over that stretch he is averaging 2.6 blocks per game…The Suns are 1-3 in their last four home games…

Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta is currently tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference playoff standings…The Hawks went into the fourth quarter in Golden State only to be stymied by the Golden States defense and score a game-low 19 points, losing 105-100…Dwight Howard and Paul Milsap totaled 28 points and 30 rebounds between them…The Hawks are the league’s number one defensive team with a league low 97.5 Defensive Rating…Atlanta is a decent shooting team, number ten in the league in FG% at 45.6%, however, they are the second-worst free throw shooting team at 69.7%, in large part to Dwight Howard’s 47.7% free trow shooting, and team leading 3.1 and 6.4 free throw makes and attempts per game…Howard is having a bit of a renaissance in Atlanta, averaging 12.8 rebounds per game, his highest since his last season in Orlando and his 60.8% from the field is the third highest of his career. He is also currently sixth in the NBA in Win Score with 13.029…The Hawks and Suns are nearly the antithesis of one another in fastbreak efficiency. Whereas the Suns are fifth in the league with 2.038, the Hawks are twenty-sixth with 1.266…However, the Atlanta Hawks have the leagues third best opponent fastbreak efficiency at 1.330, whereas the Suns’ comparative stat is a league worst, 2.153…Atlanta will travel 1,589 miles to Phoenix. In the game following their four longest trips, the Hawks are 0-4 with an average score of 103-89…The Atlanta Hawks have three players in the league’s top-100 in eFG%. 4. Mike Muscala, 63.1%; 11. Dwight Howard, 60.8%, 36. Tim Hardaway Jr., 54.6%…

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