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Lineups to Watch For in Booker’s Absence

The Suns have enough depth to be creative even without Book while he deals with a hamstring.

Denver Nuggets v Phoenix Suns Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

We all know that Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams doesn’t have a track record conducive to experimenting or lineup creativity related to that of his contender peers. At a time where Devin Booker’s absence, albeit only for a few games, may tighten the rotations a bit, Williams should also feel some room to try a few different things out.


Ideal Starters:

Chris Paul, Landry Shamet, Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, Deandre Ayton

I really like this lineup starting because it keeps the most continuity in style from when Booker’s in there. Shamet offers a lot of the same things that Booker does, just not to level that Booker does. Ideally, Shamet is there to score, and he’s probably the third or fourth scoring option in this group, but he’s shown already through 20 games that he can dribble and playmake a bit as well.


Let’s Get Wacky off the bench:

Cam Payne, Abdel Nader, Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, Javale McGee

Just a good opportunity to play very clean “4 around 1” ball on offense with a great group of defenders who bring a lot interchangeability to the table. Great chance to shout out Payne’s willingness time in and time out to bust his tail on defense, even in times when he’s switched onto bigger guys.


Ideal Closers:

Chris Paul, Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, Jae Crowder, Deandre Ayton

In the 11 minutes this group has played together, they’ve posted an offensive rating of 150.0 and a defensive rating of 66.7, which for those of you counting adds to a net rating of 83.3. They shoot a ridiculous 68.5 TS%. The numbers don’t lie and they deserve a larger sample size to see whether it’s something that can destroy defenses (and offenses) over the course of the season and into the playoffs.


Thoughts, Bright Side?