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Game Preview: Injuries mounting for Suns in rematch with Memphis

“I’m fine in the West” is a nice line from Ja Morant when he doesn’t have to match up against injured MVP-caliber Steph and Book

Phoenix Suns v Orlando Magic Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Who: Phoenix Suns (19-15, #5 in West) @ Memphis Grizzlies (20-12, #3 in West)

When: 6 p.m. AZ time

Where: FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN

Watch: Bally Sports AZ

Listen: 98.7 FM

DraftKings betting lines: Suns +6.5 with a +225 moneyline


Probable starters

Injury Report

It’s a doozy for the Suns. Booker (groin) re-joins both Cams (knee, foot) in the “out” column, and now you can add Book’s understudy, Landry Shamet (achilles), coming off of two 30+ point outings in his last three games. Jae Crowder continues to be listed “out — not with team” as well.

Fun fact: the Suns now have suffered from the most impactful injuries in the league so far this season.

Memphis’s injury list is relatively clean with all rotation players accounted for.


Keys for Suns

I’m not going to lie to you and tell you the Phoenix Suns have a great shot at winning this one. The Grizzlies have it out for the Suns and have a knack for showboating in blowouts. The faint of heart may want to stay away from this one completely. For those brave enough to tune in, there are a few matchups I’m going to be paying close attention to.

John Voita wrote recently about how Mikal Bridges has to provide more offense in Booker’s absence, and he has a chance to do so against Dillon Brooks, who falls especially into the “having it out for the Suns” crowd. Bridges may be tasked with containing Ja Morant defensively, so he’ll have a tall task ahead of him already.

The other matchup is at the center spot as Ayton has two double doubles in his last three matchups against Steven Adams. Ayton struggled offensively for a lot of the Christmas game against Denver, turning the ball over six (!!!) times, so look for him to bounce back with a better game on that end.


Prediction

I’m not even going to bother trying to predict this one because of all the injury variables, but know I’m considering it a victory if the Suns can just cover their +6.5 spread.

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