Is this the future? The Washington Wizards have won their last two games in convincing fashion as John Wall has played some of the basketball of his career. Wall is unlikely to continue shooting as well from the outside as he did last night. That said, the ability to put his team on his back for long stretches of a game is exactly what scouts predicted for him when he was first tagged a franchise player almost four years ago.
Washington hosts the struggling Phoenix Suns tonight and, while their defense will likely be better than New Orleans', they're not exactly the 2004 Pistons.
Where and when? 7 p.m. EST at the Verizon Center.
Are they good? They're 22-44 on the year and missing their two best big men, so no, they're not. Similar to New Orleans, Phoenix is a rebuilding team that still has quite a bit of rebuilding to do.
Who's out? Marcin Gortat and Channing Frye are both dunzo for Phoenix, while Jermaine O'neil, who played last night, is still listed as day-to-day. Trevor Ariza, A.J. Price and Bradley Beal are all up in the air for Washington.
Why should I care? Remember how transcendent John Wall was last night? Well, Phoenix also has an over-sized point guard, inexperienced defensive bigs and no chance at making the playoffs, so he'll at the very least have the opportunity to have another huge game.
What are they good at? Phoenix is actually a very solid defensive team against post ups. While they're only 22nd in the NBA in defensive rating as a team, the Suns are surrendering only 0.8 points per possession against post ups according to MySynergySports, good for eighth in the league. Gortat and JO were largely to thank for this, but the sheer number of fouls that the Suns have to give away could also have played a part. They have a ton of guys - both Morris twins, B-Easy, and Luis Scola - who can play the four. While none of them are good defenders, they're still better options than a converted small forward when opposing teams go big.
What are they bad at? Making plays off the dribble. The Suns' best scorers off the dribble are Shannon Brown and Goran Dragic, two guys who are great as bench energizers, not so much when they have to be the man against opposing teams' starters. Accordingly, MySynergySports ranks the Suns 25th and 28th in the NBA in points scored per possession in isolation and as pick and roll ball handlers.
Who are the greatest players in Phoenix Suns history? Louis Amundson and Jason Richardson.
Where can I read more about the Suns? Check out Bright Side of the Sun.