|2015/2016 NBA Regular Season|
|April 13, 2016 — 7:30 PM PDT|
|Talking Stick Resort Arena (Phoenix, AZ)|
|Prime Ticket, KEIB AM 1150|
|Win-Loss Breakdown ('15-'16)|
|Ronnie Price||PG||Pablo Prigioni|
|Devin Booker||SG||Jamal Crawford|
|P.J. Tucker||SF||Luc Mbah a Moute|
|Jon Leuer||PF||Paul Pierce|
|Alex Len||C||Cole Aldrich|
|Efficiency Stats ('15-'16)|
|100.8 (4th of 30)||Pace||97.9 (17th of 30)|
|99.3 (28th of 30)||OffRtg||106.4 (6th of 30)|
|107.2 (28th of 30)||DefRtg||101.0 (5th of 30)|
|-7.9 (28th of 30)||NetRtg||5.4 (5th of 30)|
|Eric Bledsoe (knee) out|
|Brandon Knight (sports hernia) out|
|T.J. Warren (foot) out|
|Archie Goodwin (ankle) out|
|Tyson Chandler (concussion) out|
The Big Picture:
So are you choosing to watch this game over Kobe's farewell and the Warriors' try for history? Based on absolutely no inside information at all, I'm assuming that even the Clippers staying home won't. I guess there's some meaning in every regular season game. Some fans presumably paid some amount of money to watch this in person. And even if a sizable contingent of star Clippers is sitting out, the remaining players are still professionals with outsized levels of competitiveness. Those on the floor will want to win. So that win, while virtually meaningless in the standings, will mean something to somebody. And if you choose to watch this game over potential and actual history, I'm betting it means something to you too.
It's unknown how many games remain for the Clippers this 2015-2016 season. One thing's for sure, though: this is it for the Suns. And this team may look substantially different (again) in a few months. Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, and T.J. Warren will return from injury to form a nice young perimeter core with sweet-shooting and sweeter-faced Devin Booker. Old man and one-time presumed DeAndre Jordan replacement Tyson Chandler and his remaining 3 years and $39 million contract could be sent elsewhere. Earl Watson, who has done an admirable interim coaching job following the ousting of Jeff Hornacek, should be made permanent, but bets are off with Robert Sarver in charge. And there could be a shiny young blue chip rookie in the rotation too. Phoenix is looking at having the fourth-most lottery balls in June, pending the games tonight. The sun may be setting on this season, but brighter days may be coming.
- Comparison of Key Metrics. May I put a question mark here? The Clippers are expected to rest their starters, and there simply isn't enough data for the expected lineup to draw meaningful conclusions. So let's cheat and play around with a small sample. On Friday in Utah, with a similarly reserve-heavy lineup, the Clippers picked off 13 steals against the Jazz. Cole Aldrich led the way with 5. Since December 27th, when Suns' starting point guard Eric Bledsoe went down for the season, guess who leads the league in turnover ratio. Yup, it's Phoenix, and with a bullet. In fact, they're as far away from #29 Utah as the Jazz are from #19 Philadelphia.
- Schedule. Up in the air, appropriately enough. The first round opponent won't be known until tonight. With the LA Kings scheduled to play Game 2 of their opening playoff series on Saturday night at STAPLES Center, it's expected that the Clippers will play their first postseason game sometime Sunday.
- [Editor's Note] Second-Round Draft Pick: The Clippers are going to finish 6th in the NBA in overall record, meaning that their second round draft pick will be 54th. That will allow them to swap picks with Brooklyn, who is presently third-to-last in the league, giving them the 33rd overall pick. The Suns are just one game ahead of the Nets, and with both teams playing tonight, an extra Suns win would cement the Nets' (and therefore Clippers') pick slot at 33. A Suns loss, combined with a Nets win over a probably-resting Toronto team, would lead to a coin flip to determine who gets pick 33 and who gets 34.--[Lucas Hann 4/13/2016 13:20 EST]
- For the Suns' point of view, head over to Bright Side Of The Sun.