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Preseason Preview: Suns head northwest to play the Kings in a prelude of the season-opener

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A quick breakdown of what to expect in the Suns’ second preseason game.

Phoenix Suns v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

What: Phoenix Suns at Sacramento Kings (Preseason)

When: Tuesday, October 8 at 7:00 p.m. AZ Time

Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California

Radio: 98.7 FM

Watch: It looks like this is one of those ridiculous NBA preseason games where they can’t even throw an iPhone in the rafters and stream it digitally. Neither the Kings nor the Suns will broadcast the game in any way from what I can tell.


Lineups

The biggest storyline of note from the Phoenix perspective is health. At practice Wednesday, Monty Williams told the media that Kelly Oubre Jr., Mikal Bridges and Aron Baynes participated in practice and each had at least a chance of playing on Thursday.

Should they play, it’s almost impossible to know how the rotation will shake out, as we literally haven’t seen these guys on the court since training camp started. The smart guess is Oubre would join the starting lineup while Bridges and Baynes would soak up the Jevon Carter/Cheick Diallo minutes in the second unit.

Regardless of who starts and what the lineups look like, getting back on the court for the remaining three preseason games would be massive progress for the injured guys as they ready themselves for the year ahead.

Key Questions

  1. Can the Suns fix their transition defense and turnover troubles?

Few can make you pay for making mistakes like Sacramento. The Kings rode disciplined play and a breakneck pace to nearly their first playoff berth in years last season and will look to maximize that advantage again in 2019-20. Led by De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento will challenge the Suns’ pass-happy offense and guys will hear footsteps as the Kings try to ignite transition opportunities.

The Suns can’t back down. They need to take care of the ball better than they did Tuesday when they turned it over 29 times, but they also need to bring focus and confidence in their work in training camp in order to not get discouraged and get away from the principles Williams wants to instill.

2. How much comedy relief does the awkward reunion of Igor Kokoskov and Trevor Ariza provide?

It’s a damn shame we don’t get to watch this game live. After returning from India, where the Kings played their first two preseason contests, Sacramento now will unveil its new-look team stateside for the first time. That means our first view of the Kokoskov-Ariza-Richaun Holmes trio, the real lifeblood of the 2018-19 Suns, one might say.

Add in Suns free agency target Cory Joseph and Phoenician Marvin Bagley Jr. and it’s a real family reunion.

In all seriousness, Bagley and Fox killed the Suns last year, and their team should be smarter and deeper with the veteran role players they added, Ariza included. The Kings are a team that can embarrass underperformers, and the Suns can’t afford to have their confidence knocked as they try to come together in the preseason.

Next Up

After this, the Suns travel to Portland for a preseason game on Saturday that will thankfully be broadcast on NBA TV.