The Suns are set to arrive in Orlando some time early next week, a major move that signals, um, this thing is really happening. The wait to this point has been something like four months or four years or four millennia, and I don’t care that I’m the thousandth person to make that joke. What I do care about is that pro basketball is close to being on our TV screens again, and the NBA announced this weekend that it’s even closer, as scrimmages will take place as soon as July 22, just over two weeks from now.
Suns head coach Monty Williams specifically pointed to the scrimmages as a portion of the schedule that would be valuable for him and his players, so don’t discount what we’ll see, even in the exhibition games. Williams promised to mix lineups and styles up a bit, and it’s obvious that without Kelly Oubre Jr., there will be a major adjustment for everybody.
For players like Cameron Johnson, Frank Kaminsky and Deandre Ayton, it’s the first time playing competitive hoops since injuries hit in the spring. For others such as Dario Saric, Ty Jerome, Elie Okobo, Jevon Carter and Cameron Payne, it’s the first step in a prolonged audition in Orlando. Most importantly, it takes the number of games we can expect the Suns to play from eight to 11, a sizable jump.
Without further ado, your Suns scrimmage schedule:
July 23: Suns vs. Jazz, 5 p.m. MST
July 26: Suns vs. Celtics, 10:30 a.m. MST
July 28: Suns vs. Raptors, Noon MST
That’s three pretty good opponents! It’s also three teams they had some success against in the spring. Not sure what familiarity there will still be there, but it at least can be a competitive juicer to throw these guys right into battle in a couple weeks.
Suns basketball isn’t far away. The passage of time has been fickle this year, but I’m pretty sure July 23 will be here before we know it.