Atlanta Hawks: 4 keys to victory against the Phoenix Suns

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Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks took down the second-best team in the Eastern conference, now they turn their attention West as they take on the Phoenix Suns.

The Atlanta Hawks start their three-game West coast road trip against the surprising Phoenix Suns. When the Suns traded for Chris Paul, they were expected to be good. He has organized this team in a similar manner to which he organized the OKC Thunder last season and has them at the top of the standings.

The Suns have a huge level of talent in the backcourt with Paul at the point and scoring machine Devin Booker at the two-guard spot. Four of five Suns starters are tremendous perimeter shooters and DeAndre Ayton is a walking double-double.

However, the Hawks have their strengths and these are going to keep this game interesting. Young is going to gain confidence from his performance against the Philadelphia 76ers and will relish the lack of shot-blocking on the Suns team.

Atlanta Hawks key No. 1) Defend without fouling

While this is the mantra of most coaches, it is really important when playing the Phoenix Suns. They have seven guys who are averaging more than 1.3 free-throw attempts per game who are shooting it from the line at over 80 percent.

It all starts with their backcourt. Booker is averaging 5.8 attempts from the line and is hitting them at 81.3 percent. Paul is averaging 3.0 attempts per game and is hitting them at an insane 97.0 percent. In fact, Ayton is the only starter who is a poor free-throw shooter, going to the line 2.3 times per game and hitting 64.0 percent of his attempts.

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