When: 7:00 PM (MST)
Where: Staples Center
Listen: 98.7 FM
For the second straight game, the Lakers and Suns will meet each other in a preseason matchup that will be televised on National TV. Round 2 of the bout will be broadcasted on ESPN.
Phoenix handled Los Angeles with ease in the first meeting, though LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Devin Booker were all notably sitting out.
The Suns won 117-105 on Wednesday night in a game that was not nearly as close as it looked on the final box score. LA won the 4th quarter garbage minutes and outscored Phoenix 31-15 in the final quarter and still lost by a dozen.
The Lakers have since played in another game (Friday night) against the Warriors in a loss where both LeBron and Westbrook played with Davis sitting for that one. Los Angeles dropped to 0-3 in the preseason with that loss. It wouldn’t be shocking if they decided to play it safe and rest all of their stars given they play 6 total preseason games this year while most teams have just 4 or 5.
A six-game preseason for a team as old as Los Angeles means there will be plenty of rest, but they also have a fairly deep roster so it could help in trimming the fat looking ahead to the regular season.
Out: Malik Monk, Talen Horton-Tucker
It remains to be seen if the Lakers will trot out their entire “Big 3” against Phoenix together, but even if they do expect a heavy minutes restriction given what’s ahead for Los Angeles.
As previously mentioned, the Lakers play six total preseason games while the majority of the league got 4 games. A few teams got 5 or 6, which to me is odd, but the Lakers are one of them for whatever reason. I’ve always been in the camp that the less preseason basketball, the better, so I’m just fine with Phoenix only having 4.
That being said, the Lakers 6 game slate gives them a different outlook than most when it comes to build-up towards the regular season. With Monk and THT sitting and Ariza hurt, there should be an opportunity for some of their veteran role players to step in for significant minutes along with their two-way contracts/young pieces.
Out: Devin Booker
It will be the third straight preseason game that Devin Booker will sit for. Coach Williams indicated that he is “starting to ramp it up” in practice and getting closer to returning.
With Booker sitting, expect Shamet to get a decent amount of burn with the starting unit once again.
Phoenix has just one more preseason game after this one that will come against the Portland Trailblazers on October 13th. They will be repeating the doubleheader with the Mercury, this time for the WNBA Finals. Congrats to those ladies on an incredible run, it’s been quite the year of basketball in the Valley.
Both teams have fun! Really though, it’s the preseason so flip a coin. Not good enough? Alright, fine. Suns by 20... why not.