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Game Preview: Suns look for first win of season against the Lakers

Lakers and Suns try to reach .500 in a very early season matchup

NBA: Preseason-Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

What: Phoenix Suns (0-1) @ Los Angeles Lakers (0-1)

When: 7:00 p.m. AZ Time

Where: Staples Center

Watch: ESPN

Listen: 98.7 FM


The (mostly) old vs. the (mostly) youthful. A matchup early in the season between the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers that will either extend the “old” narrative for the Lakers or diminish it. The Suns had their own chemistry issues late in the game against the Denver Nuggets Wednesday night, but an old Lakers team and a Ben Simmons to take some of the spotlight away from the Suns was nice.

The Lakers and Suns rivalry begins a new chapter this season.

The youthful led by Chris Paul, who is still looking for his first NBA championship, is the edge the Suns still need in matchups like these. We saw it Wednesday night against the Nuggets. Teams are ready to step it up another notch against the defending western conference champions.

The old led by LeBron James, in need of more before they close the casket. A disappointing start to this Lakers season can have heads rolling and names traded. Let’s hope the Suns can keep things pointed in that direction.


Projected Starting Lineups

Suns:

  • Chris Paul
  • Devin Booker
  • Mikal Bridges
  • Jae Crowder
  • Deandre Ayton

Lakers

  • Russell Westbrook
  • Kent Bazemore
  • LeBron James
  • Anthony Davis
  • DeAndre Jordan

Injury Report

Suns:

Dario Saric (out)

Lakers:

Kendrick Nunn (day-to-day), Wayne Ellington (day-to-day), Talen Horton-Tucker (out), Trevor Ariza (out)


Suns Report

Deandre Ayton wants his money. Performing at a very high level on the court in game one of Wednesday night against the Nuggets, you can see why. That is, if he gets the ball. The one complaint that we really would like to avoid this season is the lack of involvement from Ayton in the Suns offense.

In game one of the season, it didn’t look like it was Ayton’s fault. I still have trouble on who to believe or blame in this strange contract negotiation, so to even worry about it would be a waste of time.

One thing to really worry about is the offense going away from Ayton after hot starts again this year. Star centers in the league that can score efficiently like Ayton are never ignored.

If this can be solved early this season, the team would be complete. Everything else, including Devin Bookers missed shots in game one will work itself out.

This Suns team in the last year was full of emotion in a very positive way. Let’s not pull that in the other direction.


Lakers Report

Anthony Davis and the amount of time he spends on the floor is scary if you are a Lakers fan. They teach you to land on your butt when the ankles and knees can’t take the beating any longer. The concern of another injury is just around the corner for Davis.

Davis is the one player other than LeBron James that the Lakers cannot afford to lose. Russell Westbrook might be a player they can lose. With the addition of Westbrook, another ball handler, splitting the touches will be tough. If the Lakers are smart this year, avoid Westbrook many touches when playing with the starters. Give him the minutes with the bench unit.

It is nice to sit back and watch this team rot, but that might not be the case.

This is still the team, when healthy, you want to avoid in another first round playoff matchup.


Prediction Time

Starting the season 0-2 is really nothing to worry about. Lakers and Suns are looking for a little momentum, but it is too early to say this is a must win right?

Suns 112, Lakers 89

Let’s see if the Suns can get the Lakers fans to start booing Westbrook, breaking the offense.