clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Preaseason Game Preview: The Suns look to rebound against the Lakers in Las Vegas

Fans want a win, even though the preseason is not about winning.

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Six

What: Phoenix Suns (0-1) @ Los Angeles Lakers (0-1)

When: 7:00 p.m. AZ Time

Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada

Watch: NBATV

Listen: 98.7 FM

DraftKings Betting Lines: Suns -4

Was it embarrassing to lose the first game to a non-NBA team in six years? I guess so. It’s all everybody is talking/writing/podcasting about. It gives people something – anything – to talk about that is of some value during the preseason. So I get it. ‘Franchise with troubled ownership, embarrassing loss last season, and a power forward who doesn’t want to be there loses to Australian team’. It’s easy to write about.

Of course you want to win every game you play. I’m not a psycho. Perhaps I’m in the minority when I truly look at the preseason as an opportunity to experiment, grow, and test your depth. Am I worried about the loss Phoenix and suffered at the hands of the NBL‘s have Adelaide 36ers? Not really.

Sure, there are some concerns about the second unit, and to some extent the perimeter defense. But it’s nothing that has me frightened for how this team will perform when the season begins. Pump the brakes, settle down, and slow your roll, jabronis.

On Wednesday night Phoenix will head to Las Vegas to take on a team that was just demolished by the Sacramento Kings in the Los Angeles Lakers. I’ll ask you this: What’s worse? Losing a preseason game to an NBL team that has been playing together, shot 55.8% from beyond the arc, and has prepared for this moment for months or by 30 to the Kings?

Perspective. It’s the preseason, folks.

Starting Lineups

It’s the preseason so who really knows? Based on their last games, here is what we have:



  • Josh Okogie (hamstring) is OUT

Los Angeles:

  • TBD, updated when received

What to Watch For

Batting leadoff, here are highlights from each team’s last preseason game:

The primary thing I will continue to watch for is how Monty Williams experiments with his second unit. With the departure of Jae Crowder and the promotion to the first team unit for Cameron Johnson, coupled with the lack of quality power forward acquisitions made by James Jones this past off-season, there is a definite void with that second team unit.

The continuity and the cohesion was not present from the bench against the 36ers. Cam Payne isn’t a distributor, which could be a challenge for that second team unit as they look to find their way. He scores, and led the team with 23 on Sunday, but is that what they need from him? They need a floor general. They have a trigger happy corporal.

We will continue to watch Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton to see if their improvement in their fifth season is what we all want and want it to be after their outstanding performances on Sunday.

On the other side of the ball, the Los Angeles Lakers have constructed a unit full of veterans who are simply trying to compete in the Western Conference and in the Pacific Division.

For the first time in his career, LeBron James might not be heading into a season with championship aspirations at the forefront of his expectations. His career is coming to an end and he is focused on his legacy. What can he do to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar‘s all time regular season scoring record? It’s a record that most likely will fall in the January/February timeframe. If everything goes well.

The Lakers had a solid first half against Sacramento and they too will be working on rotations and lineups in an effort to find what will make them successful this season.

Seeing as it’s just preseason, it shouldn’t matter who wins or loses. But it’s the Lakers. It always matters.

Fun Fact

Devin Booker owns LeBron’s last Lakers jersey in which he wore #23. He gave it to Booker after the Suns eliminated Los Angeles from the 2021 NBA Playoffs.

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Six Photo by Jim Poorten/NBAE via Getty Images

Keys to a Suns Win

Score more points than the Lakers. I hate to be factious, but the goal here isn’t to win, it is to improve. As long as Phoenix is improving their approach from their second team unit, that is a win. If they happen to score more points along the way, cool. It’ll give talking heads less to talk about.

When the game is over, join the Suns JAM Session Podcast as we discuss the game live on YouTube:


Seeing as it’s just preseason, it shouldn’t matter who wins or loses. But it’s the Lakers. It always matters.

Suns 124, Lakers 109

Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bright Side of the Sun Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Phoenix Suns news from Bright Side of the Sun