As the Western Conference Semifinal returns to Texas, Brad Cesmat sat down with ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth ahead of a pivotal Game 6 for the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night.
Hubbarth will be on the sidelines for ESPN’s broadcast of Game 6 beginning at 6:30 p.m. MST. “There’s a lot of chippiness and a lot of talking going on in this series,” Hubbarth emphasized. “I do feel like there may be a butting rivalry here.”
The Suns lead the series 3-2 following a second-half burst in Game 5 to claim a 110-80 victory. After subpar performances in their last two games in Dallas, Phoenix returned to their normal high-powered attack. Phoenix unleashed an offense that controlled the paint and tempo and paired that with a defense that held the Mavericks to just 38% field goal shooting.
The Suns scored over 120 points each in Game 1 and Game 2 in Phoenix but failed to surpass 101 points in their pair of losses in Dallas. In an uncharacteristic performance on the road, the Suns combined for 34 turnovers in Games 3 and 4. Even though Phoenix shot 46% from the field in those two games, the Suns failed to surpass 30 points in seven of their eight quarters in Dallas. Hubbarth looks to Chris Paul, after difficulties in Games 3 and 4, to lead this team in Game 6 in order for the Suns to close out the series.
“There is more pressure on (Chris Paul) being this closer that we have seen him to be, and if he is going to step up,” Hubbarth said. “Him being the point guard, him being the head of the snake, him being the wily vet, there is going to be a lot of pressure on him to lead this team to close it out on the road.”
A victory for the Suns in Game 6 would advance them to their second straight Western Conference Finals appearance. Otherwise, a Mavs win would force the series to return to Phoenix for a winner-take-all Game 7 on Sunday.
— Brad Cesmat (@bradcesmat) May 11, 2022