Another game for the Phoenix Suns vs a team sitting players due to an injury or maybe just rest.
Wednesday night, the Philadelphia 76ers were without Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, and Tobias Harris. A game that all Suns fans were looking forward to watching, but were scratched from the starting lineup for various reasons, but I would guess mainly extended rest. This is the season to take advantage of rest to the max for players on back-to-back games. The Sixers, with a game against the Milwaukee Bucks the next night, decided that would be the more important game, and I don’t blame them.
As much as we want to see the matchup between Devin Booker and Simmons, the Sixers and the rest of the league are smart to use the rest this season. Any other 82-game season, there would be a fuss from me, but the energy needs to be saved for the playoffs if games can be sacrificed without affecting the standings too much.
A road trip to follow the current trip has the Suns facing weaker teams playing in the lottery including the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Cleveland Cavaliers with a back-to-back against the Atlanta Hawks. An idea of course would be to rest against the Cavs and play full against the Hawks.
Then with a back-to-back against the San Antonio Spurs to end the season, one or maybe both can serve as some rest. Would it be worth it?
Right now there are a couple of options for the Suns. They can go for the first seed hard and play their starters every game and all 30-40 minutes a game. Or, they can get through the current east coast road trip, and at best go 5-0 and even a respectable 3-2 record, and begin to rest Chris Paul, Booker, and Deandre Ayton.
Ayton (58 games/starts) has proven that he can get up for big games against aggressive monster match-ups but he still needs the time on the floor to work with the starting line-up for needed reps. The reps are needed and Ayton is still very young and most likely does not need the rest.
Paul (57 games/starts) is probably the one we are most worried about energy-wise. But he would be the one to sit himself. With more recognition going forward in the MVP race, a few games missed, equaling a couple Suns losses might help his MVP chances. Something of course that I don’t want to see, but if rest is needed, then it should be granted.
Booker (54 games/starts) has reached his peak this season in play, with awards probably out of reach unless he can get an all-NBA team nod this year. A few games with rest wouldn’t hurt his progress towards the playoffs or chemistry. The balance between the starters and bench is looking more and more even this year. But, we need to see how the east-coast road-trip shakes out.
There are injuries/ illnesses listed by players names on other NBA teams who are currently and in the future missing games... but a couple more games for rest is something that is given this year. A year with Covid and a enormous amounts of back-to-backs is a reason to get to the playoffs in one piece if possible.
What do you think? Should the Suns take a couple nights off or keep riding into the sunset without losing pace towards one of the best seasons in franchise history?