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Preseason Preview: Suns host Adelaide 36ers in preseason opener

Phoenix Suns basketball is back.

NBA: Phoenix Suns-Media Day Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

What: Phoenix Suns vs. Adelaide 36ers

When: Sunday, 7:00 PM AZ time

Where: Footprint Center, Phoenix, AZ

Watch: NBATV, Bally Sports Arizona

Listen: 98.7 FM

Vegas line: Suns 26-point favorites, over/under set at 195.5 on DraftKings.

Basketball is back. It’s been 140 days since the disastrous Game 7 collapse against the Mavericks in the Footprint Center.

The storylines were aplenty throughout the offseason, with distractions looming everywhere. Sarver, Durant, Crowder, the Monty-Ayton dynamic, Ayton’s contract, the lack of any needle-moving acquisitions, the gloomy media day, you name it.

The Suns are the heavy favorites against Adelaide, as expected, and should be focusing on experimentation with their sets.

Projected Suns Starters

  • Deandre Ayton
  • Cameron Johnson
  • Mikal Bridges
  • Devin Booker
  • Chris Paul

What to watch

Yes, it’s the preseason game against an NBL team, but that does not mean you cannot take things away from what we watch.

Body language, effort, and engagement will be a few things to keep an eye on as we enter the first contest of the preseason.

I’m personally excited to see how newcomers Duane Washington and Jock Landale look, as they figure to get decent playing time in a game that should be over by the first half. I expect those two, in particular, to pleasantly surprise Suns fans.

Dario Saric’s return will also be another storyline to watch, as he already played for Croatia this summer, but seeing him with his Suns crew will be nice.

Cam Johnson starting at the four will be another storyline to watch throughout the preseason as we see how he looks with the starting unit.

Out/Injured: Jae Crowder (not with team), Josh Okogie (hamstring, out at least two weeks)

The Opponent

Last season, Adelaide finished 7th in the NBL at 10-18 out of 10 teams, and they returned two of their top three scorers (Dech and Johnson) and added some former NBA talent along with Kai Sotto.

While the NBL isn’t anywhere near the NBA’s talent level (obviously) they play the right way, focusing on fundamentals and execution. I expect the Suns to handle them rather easily, but it won’t be without a battle and fight from the 36ers.

Key players: Antonius Cleveland, Sunday Dech, Robert Franks, Daniel Johnson, Kai Sotto.

No, there won’t be anything that will make or break the season discovered in tonight’s game, but it’s simply great to have Phoenix Suns basketball back.

Let the preseason overreactions begin.

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