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Game Preview: New look Suns host Nuggets in preseason rematch of Western Conference Second Round

The stakes aren’t as high as they were the last time they clashed.

2023 NBA Playoffs - Denver Nuggets v Phoenix Suns Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

What: Denver Nuggets (0-0) vs. Phoenix Suns (1-0)

When: 7:00 p.m. AZ Time

Where: Footprint Center, Phoenix, Arizona

Watch: Suns Live, TNT, AZ Family 3TV, AZ Family Sports

Listen: KMVP 98.7 FM

Revenge. It’s a dish best served cold, at least that’s what “they” say. Who are “they” anyways? The peanut gallery? The silent majority?

Not Suns brass. We just got an update that Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal are all out for tonight’s game. Time to see what the ‘NON BIG THREE’ has got in them!

The Suns are in the process of learning who and what they are. And truthfully? So are the Nuggets. Phoenix may have 13 new players on the roster this season, but the Nuggets saw a post-championship exodus. Bruce Brown, Thomas Bryant, Jeff Green, Davon Reed, and Ish Smith are all no longer with the team. Their depth is the question mark as they enter the season.

We witnessed the Suns’ depth in their 132-126 overtime victory against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday afternoon. Did they give up a 26-point lead? Yeah. But I doubt that, when the regular season rolls around, Yuta Watanabe, Saben Lee, and Nassir Little will we playing 20+ minutes like they did in preseason game one. The depth and chemistry need to continue to develop, and the only way to do that is with repetitions.

We’ll see more of those repetitions tonight in Downtown Phoenix.

Starting Lineups

Who knows.




  • Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal rest) are OUT
  • Damion Lee (right knee meniscus) is OUT
  • Jordan Goodwin (right hamstring tightness) is OUT
  • Ish Wainright (right calf strain) is OUT


  • Michael Porter Jr. is OUT
  • Jamal Murray is QUESTIONABLE
  • latko Cancar (left knee) is OUT

What to Watch For

This is the Nuggets preseason opener, so if you’re hoping for extended minutes from their Big Four, I suggest you wait until these two teams square off for the first time on December 3. What win be fun to watch, again, is the Suns starter five. Their chemistry was nearly flawless on Sunday against the Pistons and we should see around the same usage between the Booker/Durant/Beal trio. They played a combined 42 minutes in Sunday’s preseason opener, and that sounds about par for the course in this one.

We will continue to watch and see what kind of chemistry is developing with the second team team. Grayson Allen was the big winner in game one, but he doesn’t need to be the big winner in game two. It could be Eric Gordon. Or Drew Eubanks. Perhaps Keita Bates-Diop will find comfortability on the court that was not present in the last game.

We’re excited for the starters. We’re intrigued by the bench.

I am assuming the Nugget’s head coach Michael Malone will not be present for the game. The unfortunate news that his father passed away was released this morning.

Keys to a Suns Win

As the Rock says, “It doesn’t matter!”. It’s preseason, and we’re not here looking for actual wins and losses, we’re here for winning plays and the development of player chemistry. The


I’ll make a prediction because that’s what the heading says, and if I even get close you need to buy me a beer next time we’re sitting at the local pub.

Suns 124, Nuggets 118

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