The preseason is just around the corner, and the Phoenix Suns are preparing for their first competition in four months. What a painful four months that was, wasn't it? Summertime in Phoenix is already an unbearable remind that this land should be inhabitable, but sprinkle in the painful manner in which the 2022 playoffs ended, and it was next-level depressing.
Hope springs eternal, and teh team is putting the past behind them as they prepare for their Revenge II Tour. The Suns’ first game is Sunday as they kick of their preseason against the NBL’s Adelaide 36ers.
Sure, it doesn’t count, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t be watching to see the new acquisitions for the Suns, and how they perform in purple and orange.
The newest member of the Phoenix Suns to wear jersey number two, the 19th such player to do so in their history, will be missing some time during the preseason. News came down that newly acquired Josh Okogie has been limited with a left hamstring strain.
Josh Okogie has been limited in training camp with a left hamstring strain and will be reevaluated in 2 weeks, per Suns— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) September 30, 2022
This is clearly disappointing news as he is one of the players that we were looking forward to seeing throughout the preseason. Chances are we won’t see much of Okogie during the regular season, unless Monty Williams chooses to deploy spouts of defensively focused basketball.
He has never been a strong offensive player, Shooting 40.3% from the field throughout his career, and 27.5% from beyond the arc. In his four years with the Minnesota Timberwolves, although he started 123 of 244 games, he averaged a mere 6.4 points.
His role? As a 6’4” shooting guard, the Georgia Tech alum carried the role of defensive lockdown player. The preseason is an opportunity to gain confidence, to work on off-season training during an NBA-paced game, and to display growth.
I’ve called him a “high energy version of Elfrid Payton” before, which some of you weren’t necessarily a fan of. That being said, I prefer his type of energy to that of Payton. Payton was an initiator. Okogie is not.
The former 20th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft is 24 years old, and while he has never displayed an affinity for an offensively productive type of basketball, there’s always hope. The preseason is an opportunity to make that hope reality.
Unfortunately, we will not see much of Okogie during the preseason as he attempts to navigate the soft tissue issue that he is dealing with in his left hamstring. As we know, hamstring issues can be troublesome in all sports, especially the NBA. The athleticism needed to be a productive player can be hampered by such an injury, and if your goal is to be somebody who makes your name on defense, you will lack explosiveness, athleticism, and lateral quickness with such an injury.
We’ll have to wait to see how Okogie fits into Monty’s scheme, and it looks like it might not be until the regular season begins.