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Suns take a trip to Brooklyn

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Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

That was a happy ending to a depressing month. The Brooklyn Nets closed out a disappointing November with an 87-83 win over the Detroit Pistons in Barclays Center on Sunday night. After this, they get two days off before hosting the Knicks on Friday night.

Coming into Barclays this evening will be the Phoenix Suns. The Suns are coming off of a nice 107-103 win over the Raptors in Toronto on Sunday. This is night two of their six game road trip and night one of a back-to-back. They're in Detroit tomorrow night.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV (unless you have Comcast ... then you're out of luck), WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off is after 7:30.

Injuries

Andrea Bargnani is dealing with a tight left hamstring so he'll be missing this game.

Tyson Chandler is questionable with a hamstring strain.

The game

We're a month in to the season, so we're bringing the tables back.

2015-2016

Brooklyn

Phoenix

Record

4-13 8-9

Pace

98.74 102.7

Offensive Efficiency

96.6 102.4

Defensive Efficiency

103.1 103.5

Turnover Rate

15.3 16

Assist Rate

15.7 14.9

Offensive Rebounding Rate

24.6 24.6

Rebound Rate

50.7 51.2

Free Throw Rate

22.7 26.5

Effective Field Goal Percentage

46.7 50.4

Opponent's Effective Field Goal Percentage

51.5 52.2

We get to see an old friend tonight. Mirza Teletovic played three seasons with the Nets but decided to join the Suns in the offseason, signing a one year, $5.5 million contract. Teletovic is looking good with the Suns and is shooting 44.4 percent from three point range, 14th highest in the league. Mirza endeared himself to the fans in his time here, so he should get a nice response from the Barclays Center crowd and the fans at home. Also on the Suns roster is Cory Jefferson, who the Nets declined to keep back in July.

The Nets played the first Morris twin, Marcus on Sunday. Tonight, they get to face the other one, Markieff. If you're wondering why they aren't playing together anymore, it's because neither really is *that* good and they allegedly rolled five deep in a Rolls Royce Phantom to deliver the fade to a gentleman they thought was getting inappropriate with their mom. That made a disappointing Suns season even worse and over the summer, Phoenix sent Marcus to the Pistons. Naturally, Markieff didn't take the news of his brother being traded well and spent the summer acting like an ass. One month into the season, he hasn't done himself any favors with his poor play and if it continues, teams won't try to acquire him at the trading deadline.

If Chandler is out, Brook Lopez should have a party on the inside. Alex Len is the only other center on the Phoenix roster and after that, it's a gang of power forwards. Lopez had a rough night from the field against Andre Drummond and the Pistons, but was one steal away from the rare 5x5. Even when he isn't scoring, Lopez isn't a non-factor and will contribute in a variety of ways. And for a team that needs as much help as humanly possible, it pays to have someone like Lopez on their roster.

Phoenix's three point defense has been spotty so far this year as opponents are shooting 37.2 percent against them, fifth highest in the league (the Nets are two tenths of a percentage point behind them). Unfortunately for Nets fans, Brooklyn isn't a team that's built to take advantage of that. They're still dead last in three point attempts and efficiency. Maybe this is the night Nets offense goes against the grain... nah, probably not.

Player to watch: Eric Bledsoe

You almost forget that Bledsoe used to be Chris Paul's understudy in Los Angeles. Bledsoe left LA as part of a trade in 2013 and has been the starting guard for the Suns ever since. Last year was tricky for Bledsoe as he had to share PG duties with Isaiah Thomas and Goran Dragic, but those two were traded and Bled is back as the lead guard.

Bledsoe is off to the best start of his career. He's at career highs in free throw percentage, field goal percentage, and three point percentage. More importantly, he's taken on a larger role in the offense and has dramatically cut down on his turnovers. Generally speaking, point guard is the deepest position in the league, and even more so in the Western Conference. If he continues to play at this level, he'll have a great case for playing in this year's All Star Game.

Bledsoe puts a lot of pressure on defenses by getting to the basket, so Jarrett Jack will need to be on his toes tonight. The Nets defense hasn't done well against pick and rolls, and if they're not careful, they'll be giving up a lot of open looks to a Suns team that's third in three point efficiency. The Suns defense has been bad in their own right, so if Jack keeps the turnovers down, the Nets offense will have plenty of opportunities to create good looks for each other.

From the Vault

Steve Nash retired in March after his latest injury. At Rolling Stone, Seerat Sohi reflected on the importance of his career and wrote:

Nash passed and passed and passed, to a fault, even when he was the best shooter on the floor. He could fit into any situation like a key cog, a snug racecar driver in a seat he designed. Or he could go anti-war in Texas, pro-immigration in Arizona. Whatever he felt like. That's why watching Nash meant effortlessly buying into something beautiful, something pure, something unique. He managed to pull off toughness, efficiency and fun at the same time. He is, to this day, the easiest hero to cheer for.

So with that, head on back to 2006 and watch the two best point guards in Suns history, Nash and Jason Kidd, square off in New Jersey.

More reading: Bright Side Of The Sun