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Summer Suns Preview/Thread: Can they get a win?

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Someone has to. The Suns and Nuggets are both 0-2 to start Summer League

2021 Las Vegas Summer League - Phoenix Suns v Utah Jazz Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

What: Summer Suns (0-2) vs. Summer Nuggets (0-2)

When: 7:00PM AZ time

Where: Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV

Watch: NBATV


Suns second year F/C Jalen Smith — the 10th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft — has been working hard if not efficiently, producing a pair of double-doubles in his first Summer League action. He scored 15 points with 12 rebounds in Sunday’s loss, then 12 points with 15 rebounds in Monday’s loss.

‘Stix’ Smith leads all Vegas Summer League players with 13.5 rebounds, including 6 offensive rebounds, per game. But he’s making just 34.5% of his shots (28% on threes), committing three turnovers per game, and has not been credited with a shot block. He looks like he hasn’t played much competitive basketball in a year and a half (which he hasn’t).

Yet, he and Ty-Shon Alexander have been the only bright spots. Second-year guard Ty-Shon Alexander is averaging 13.5 points (41% shooting, 25% on threes), though his other numbers have been unexciting: 2.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 turnovers per game.

Stix and Ty-Shon are averaging 9.5 FG on 24.5 shots combined (38%). The rest of the team is averaging 13 FG on 51.5 shots (25.4%).

Let’s see if 3 days of practice is enough to help the 0-2 SummerSuns get on track again. They play a Nuggets team featuring Bol Bol (who will make Jalen Smith look beefy by comparison) and draft pick Bones Hyland (a very good shooter). The roster also includes former ASU standout Zylan Cheatham, former UofA Wildcat Zeke Nnaji, and former Suns Davon Reed, Deonte Burton and Josh Gray among the 15 players on the Nuggets squad.

After tonight’s game, they play the Portland contingent on Saturday and then one final game against an undetermined opponent on Monday or Tuesday.