3-Dei: MCW must win PG battle vs. Goran Dragic

3-Dei: MCW must win PG battle vs. Goran Dragic
January 27, 2014, 2:15 pm
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Goran Dragic (left) is averaging a career-high 19.3 points this season. (USA Today Images)

The Suns are a surprising 25-18 and previously beat the Sixers this season, 115-101. Phoenix is playing a back-to-back game and the second of a four-game East Coast swing. The Suns beat the Cavaliers yesterday, 99-90.

Here is a look at Sixers-Suns in 3-Dei.

1) Respect the Suns' defense
The Suns average 104.1 points per game. Like the Sixers, they want to run. But the Sixers shouldn't think Phoenix can’t get stops. Last night in Cleveland the Suns found themselves down 18 points at the half. They came out in the third quarter and held the Cavaliers to six points. Cleveland was 2 for 22 in that quarter.

2) Get to the point
With Eric Bledsoe sidelined after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery Jan. 10, the Suns have moved Goran Dragic back to the point guard position and inserted Gerald Green in the starting lineup as the shooting guard. A year ago, Dragic was tied for seventh in the NBA with 7.4 assists. He is a willing passer but this season he is averaging a career-high 19.3 points. His assists per game have slipped to 6.1.

Michael Carter-Williams needs to win the point guard matchup. Given MCW’s 8-point, 4-assist performance Saturday, he is due for his season numbers of 17.3 points and 6.5 assists.

3) Bench press more than Phoenix
The Suns' bench outscored the Cavaliers' bench 40-17 Sunday. Phoenix's reserves were greatly bolstered by tri-state native Markieff Morris scoring 27 points while also grabbing a season-high 15 rebounds.

The Suns' bench is the fifth-highest scoring bench in the NBA, averaging 37 points. The Sixers' reserves average 27 points. The Sixers can’t let the Phoenix non-starters be the determining factor in tonight’s outcome.