When: 6:00 p.m. AZ Time
Where: Ball Arena — Denver, Colorado
Watch: NBA League Pass
Listen: 98.7 FM
Line: PHX -6.0
Denver Preview: Nuggets look to capture first preseason victory over the Suns
The Phoenix Suns will travel to Denver to take on the Nuggets on Monday night at Ball Arena as they look to improve to 2-1 in the preseason.
They will be missing quite a few key members, as over half the second unit is out along with Cam Johnson and Jae Crowder of course.
Landry Shamet (left hip strain), Cam Payne (right finger sprain), Cam Johnson (right thumb sprain) and Dario Saric (personal reasons) are all out for tomorrow's preseason game in Denver. Josh Okogie (left hamstring strain) is questionable. Jae Crowder still not with team.— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) October 9, 2022
Denver is also dinged up, as they will likely be without MVP Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray as they recover from injuries. Nuggets’ Head Coach Mike Malone said they are “doubtful” to take the court against the Suns tonight.
Below is the full injury report with the latest from each team.
- Landry Shamet (OUT)
- Cam Payne (OUT)
- Cam Johnson (OUT)
- Dario Saric (OUT)
- Josh Okogie (Questionable)
- Jae Crowder (Not with team)
- Nikola Jokic (Doubtful)
- Jamal Murray (Doubtful)
- Chris Paul
- Devin Booker
- Mikal Bridges
- Torrey Craig
- Deandre Ayton
- Bones Hyland
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- Michael Porter Jr.
- Aaron Gordon
- Zeke Nnaji
Things to watch
The first thing I’m looking at is how the Suns decide to use Deandre Ayton. I’d really like to see more self-creation attempts and dribbling from the big fella. The preseason is the time to experiment, even if it’s ugly or you fail, getting those reps in game situations is valuable.
Along with Ayton experimenting, Mikal Bridges getting more involved whether it’s using him as the handler in a pick and roll or giving him isolation situations to create would be ideal.
Contain Bones. Denver will be without Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, so that leaves the keys to the offense in Bones Hyland’s hands. Bones is someone that can light it up in a hurry, so the Suns' defense will have to be locked in on him and Michael Porter Jr. specifically.
The bench unit is depleted with Payne, Shamet, Crowder, and Saric out, and when you factor in that starter Cam Johnson will also miss the game it shows that the Suns’ depth will be tested.
I’m expecting to see a lot of Duane Washington Jr., Frank Jackson, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, and Ish Wainright. Veterans Torrey Craig, Damion Lee, Bismack Biyombo, and Jock Landale will also be relied upon to eat minutes as they likely look to keep the starters on a pitch count.
Duane Washington Jr. is the player I’m most excited to see in a (hopefully) expanded role. He had a tough shooting night against the Lakers the other night, but I expect a breakout game from him tonight if given the opportunity.
Suns in 4
Suns by 4.
Let’s hope everyone stays healthy and gets some useful reps in.