When: 8:00 p.m. MST
Where: Sac town
Watch: Fox Sports Arizona
Listen: 98.7 FM
Now the fun begins! The Phoenix Suns head out for a two-game road trip to Sacramento to take on the Kings for games two and three of the season. This two-gamer is a new twist by the NBA to reduce travel a teensie bit while the pandemic still rages.
Both teams won their opener with big plays in close games. The Kings downed the Nuggets at the buzzer, while the Suns pulled away from the Mavericks with a pair of late buckets.
Probable Starting Lineups
Out / Injured
The Suns continue to list Dario Saric (quad) and Abdel Nader (concussion) as out, but everyone else is listed healthy. Frank Kaminsky is cleared of COVID protocol and will be on the active roster.
The Kings have DaQuan Jeffries and Jabari Parker both listed with lower back soreness.
The data is useless with only one game played so far, but the Kings have returned basically the same lineup and head coach from a year ago. They are trying to play faster, to maximize De’Aaron Fox skills, but otherwise are running it back and hoping for growth from the kiddos.
Marvin Bagley III is healthy this year and will likely make an impact from the power forward spot next to old Sun Richaun Holmes and his new backup Hassan Whiteside. The Suns will need Ayton’s speed to combat Holmes and his bulk to combat Whiteside.
Gone is Bogdan Bogdanovic. Buddy Hield is the full time starter now next to Fox, while rookie Tyrese Haliburton is an active third guard in the rotation who can play both spots as needed. Haliburton was taken two spots after Jalen Smith in last month’s draft. I know many Suns fans loved Haliburton, but rumor was that he targeted Sac and had his agent decline invites from many teams for one-on-ones so that they would/might pass on him till the Kings pick. Let’s see if he made the right choice there.
Frank Kaminsky is cleared, and he said on a recent media interview that he is looking forward to helping the Suns identify the Kings plays as they unfold. He was on their roster through training camp and preseason after all.
The best thing Frank said in the interview: Phoenix is where he wanted to be all along, so he’s thrilled to be back.
With Dario still out, you can expect to see Frank get in one or both of these games this weekend unless Damian Jones suddenly fits the scheme in ways not shown to date.
There’s not many other updates — the rest of the team besides Dario and Abdel Nader are available and ready to go.
Fox’s speed versus Chris Paul’s sorcery and misdirection. Let’s see if Fox runs the Suns off the court, or whether Paul reminds Fox who’s boss. I’m fascinated.
The bigger matchup, to me, will be Devin Booker vs. Buddy Hield at shooting guard. Hield will shoot any time any where, and Booker will need to stay in his grille to make sure he doesn’t get too many open ones. On the other end, Hield’s defense is no match for Booker’s offense. Could be that both players get 25+ points in this one.
I just think the Suns will win this handily, with the offense breaking out.
I’ll guess 130-115, Suns.