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Preseason Game Preview: Suns debut new home court vs. world champ Lakers

The Phoenix Suns host a two-game home stand vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

What: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns

When: Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Where: Yet-to-be-named newly remodeled Phoenix Suns arena!

Watch: Fox Sports Arizona, NBATV

Listen: 98.7 FM

Hey now! The Phoenix Suns will debut their new home court on Wednesday night to the Fox Sports Arizona and NBATV viewing audience (no fans, no media on site).

This news is so exciting that LeBron James and Anthony Davis have decided to make their 2020-21 season debuts on Wednesday night too. I’m sure they can’t wait to see the new arena!

Former contributor and now Arizona Sports big dog Suns beat writer Kellan Olson got a tour of the new Suns home court on Tuesday and it was expectedly gorgeous. Check out the article and tons of pics, videos and juicy info here.

In their first game on the new court in the renovated arena, including the theater lighting to Devin Booker’s liking, the Suns will host the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers in a preseason game.

The Lakers — who just played their last game of the 2019-20 season two months ago — are 2-0 this preseason without multi-time MVP LeBron James and perennial All-Star Anthony Davis.

The Suns are 0-2 this preseason barely playing 10-time All-Star Chris Paul (18 total minutes in two games) and keeping the top of the rotation on short minutes.

Now each team only has two preseason games left, both here in Phoenix at the new arena that does not have a formal name yet after their last sponsorship expired.

Lakers Update

LeBron and AD both may be playing for the first time this preseason on Wednesday night, but you can bet the Taylor Horton-Tucker Experience will continue.

Horton-Tucker has been the star in Bron and AD’s absence. The 6’4” shooting guard, drafted in the middle of the second round a year ago with the pick the Lakers purchased from the Magic, played little in year one (six games total). But in two preseason games, Horton-Tucker is averaging 26 whopping points per game on 50% shooting, 9.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.5 steals!

The second-leading scorer for the Lakers is none other than Kyle Kuzma, with 21 points per game on 43% shooting. Right behind are Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Clippers defector Montrezl Harrell.

THT, Kuzma, Harrell and Quinn Cook are the only Lakers to appear in both preseason games so far. With having just ended their season recently with the championship, the Lakers are taking it easy in preseason warmup games.

With only a week left before the real games start, we will see more of the Lakers arsenal.

“I want to just continue what the ball club has been doing,” James said of the 2-0 Lakers this preseason. “They’ve been sharing the ball, moving the ball, playing at a really good pace and trying to defend and rebound

Returning rotation players from their championship run: LeBron, AD, Kuzma, KCP, Cook, Markieff Morris, Alex Caruso

Gone-gone-gone: Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Rajon Rondo, Dwight Howard, JaVale McGee

New arrivals: Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, Wesley Matthews, Marc Gasol

Seems to me the Lakers are the prohibitive repeat favorite for a good reason.

Suns Injury Update

Out today: Cameron Johnson (left calf soreness), Abdel Nader (concussion protocol), Cameron Payne (left knee tendinopathy), Dario Saric (right quad soreness)

Also, Jae Crowder has not been on any injury reports but has not played. Could he play tonight? We hope.

Suns team update

On the other end of the spectrum, the Suns are 0-2 and have not looked good for even a whole quarter yet, let alone a half or a game. They have good stretches, and looked good offensively with Chris Paul leading the way, but otherwise have played a half-mast most of the time.

The standout of course is Devin Booker, his usual sublime scoring self. He looks as good and smooth as ever. It’s the rest of the team that looks shaky so far.

Let’s talk about the positives: Mikal Bridges and Langston Galloway, the only two other players averaging double figures besides Book so far this preseason.

Mikal looks every bit ready for the regular season, averaging 14.5 points on 50% shooting, while Galloway has been on FIRE with 15.5 points on 55% shooting off the bench in limited minutes.

Everyone else? bleh. Let’s hope they get their spirit back on Wednesday with the new arena opening up.

That’s all I’ve got to say about tha—

Except this: Chris Paul reminded us that in his first preseason under Monty Williams 10 years ago in New Orleans they went 0-4, but ripped off an 11-1 regular season start right after that.

So I am not going to predict the score or even care about it. Right? right? We don’t get worked up over preseason basketball do we?

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