Preview: Suns Host Cavs

The Phoenix Suns have another chance to climb out of the play-in picture tonight.
Apr 1, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Damion Lee, left, sprays his teammate
Apr 1, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Damion Lee, left, sprays his teammate / Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns (44-31) have officially reached the final home stand of the season in yet another crucial matchup against the third-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers (46-30).

Cavs star G Donovan Mitchell is available to return to the lineup tonight, while the status of Suns G/F Grayson Allen are unclear.

Both teams are fresh off victories - and both squads are currently jockeying for playoff position - Cleveland is just 1.5 games ahead of the five-seed Knicks out East, while Phoenix is looking to avoid the play-in tournament in the West.

A look at Cleveland's recent performances, a key matchup, and game prediction will ensue:

Cavs: Up and Down

Cleveland has gone 5-6 since the loss to Phoenix on March 11.

Many of those contests have been sans Mitchell or Max Strus, but have suffered disheartening losses to the Miami Heat, Charlotte Hornets, and Denver Nuggets during the last three weeks.

The Suns still can't take Cleveland lightly by any means - they are still without a doubt a quality team regardless of recent results.

Key Matchup: Donovan Mitchell vs Devin Booker

The two most frequently discussed shooting guards in the NBA over the last three seasons, Mitchell and Booker have developed something of a friendly rivalry on the court.

The University of Louisville product was enjoying an All-NBA season prior to being shut down due to a nagging injury - and as a result, Mitchell is now ineligible for end-of-season awards.

On the other hand, Booker is coming off a 52-point effort in a vital win against the New Orleans Pelicans Monday night - and it appears as if the best ball is ahead of him this season.

This matchup is sure to be tantalizing regardless of the result of the game - but the player who gets the upper hand in this matchup could very well lead their squad to victory.

Prediction: Suns Win

The Suns overcome a motivated Cleveland squad tonight and get vintage performances from the Kevin Durant/Booker duo in the process.

Phoenix could climb back into the top-six out West with a victory and Pelicans loss tonight - if they're able to get the job done.

Suns-Cavs has a tip time set for shortly after 7 P.M. Arizona time tonight.

Kevin Hicks