Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers 12/9 Game Preview

Phoenix Suns (6-16) v Los Angeles Lakers (10-14)

Friday 12/9/2016 8:30pm
STAPLES Arena, Los Angeles, CA
Fox Sports Arizona/ESPN/Arizona Sports 98.7FM

Season Series – Lakers lead 1-0
All-Time Series – Los Angeles Leads 135-105
Last Matchup – November 6, 2016 Los Angeles won 119-108
Suns’ Last Game – Loss to Indiana 109-94
Lakers’ Last Game – Loss to the Houston Rockets 134-95
Suns’ Scoring Averages PTS/G: 105.7 (9th of 30) Opp PTS/G: 113.0 (29th of 30)
Lakers’ Scoring Averages PTS/G: 104.5 (13th of 30) Opp PTS/G: 110.3 (27th of 30)

Preview

Phoenix Suns

The Suns suffered their third consecutive defeat on Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers 109-94. No Phoenix Suns player scored over 15 points, although in his 1,000 NBA game, Tyson Chandler recorded a 10 point and 10 rebound double-double. For the official Valley of the Suns postgame thoughts, read here…Phoenix is still fourth in the league in two-point field goal attempts, coinciding with their still #2 ranking in pace in the league…The Suns’ free throw shooting percentage has improved a bit over the past few games, and the Suns now find themselves 20th overall in FT% at 76.5%. They are still 5th in FTA averaging 26.1 per game, and 8th in FTM averaging 20.0…Formerly top-5, Phoenix is now #8 in the league in steals, snagging 8.9 per game. Los Angeles is right on their heels, however, averaging 8.6…They are no longer last in the league in assists and personal fouls, sitting at 29th in each category. Los Angeles only averages 2.5 more assists, and sits at 20.8, 23rd in the league…Their three-point shooting too is still low in league rankings, particularly makes and percentage as they sit at 26th in each category making 7.6 per game at a lowly 32.7%…Their poor three-point shooting hurts a lot, but Phoenix is still shooting only 48.4% in eFG%…While the Suns are 27th in blocked shots, they need not worry much about having their shots blocked either. Los Angeles is last in the league in blocked shots at 3.5…The Suns’ scoring leaders are slipping. While at one point early on, Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, and T.J. Warren were all scoring at or above 20 points per game, Booker now leads the team at 19.0, and Bledsoe is down to 18.8. Warren, who hasn’t played in a few weeks due to the mysterious head injury, remains at 17.7. Warren’s eventual return will be a reprieve for Phoenix who could use his scoring to help take pressure off of the three guard scorers…Tyson Chandler, who had once been averaging as high as 12.4 rebounds per game, has not had a huge rebounding performance in some time and has seen his average drop to 10.9 per game…After only two assists against the Pacers, Bledsoe’s team lead in assists has drop to 5.0 per game…

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers are playing without Nick Young (Calf), D’Angelo Russell (Knee), Jose Calderon (Hamstring), and Tarik Black (Ankle), and fell to the Houston Rockets by 39 points in their last outing, 134-95, their second 30+ loss in four games, and third in two weeks…A team who was an early-season playoff darling, is now struggling to remain competitive against stronger competition, without the help of their team’s stars…4th in the NBA in pace at 99.1, the Lakers are top-5 in FGM and FGA, as well as 2PM and 2PA and their eFG% is .495, good for 19th in the league…At 18th in the league, the Lakers are nearly smack-dab in the middle in personal fouls between 1st place, Charlotte Hornets (16.7) and last place Phoenix Suns (25.7). LA averages 20.8 personal fouls per game…The Lakers have played in a league-high 24 games so far, two more than Phoenix’s 22…No Laker averages over 1.0 blocks per game. Reserves Brandon Ingram and Tarik Black each average .6…With D’Angelo Russell out tonight due to injury, Lou Williams has the highest assists rate among active players, averaging 3.4. Russell only averages 4.8…Williams also leads the team in scoring at 18.7 but has been scoring at a much higher rate than his average in Russell’s absence, scoring 40, 38, and 24 in his previous three games…$64M Man, Timofey Mozgov is averaging 8.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists, .5 blocks, in 21.0 minutes per game as the Lakers’ starting center…In his team-leader swan song, Metta World Peace has appeared in 10 games for a total of 65 minutes. His totals (not averages) on the season are 9 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 turnover, and 6 personal fouls…

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