The Phoenix Suns have underwhelmed this season, currently sitting at 4-6 in the standings. The list of reasons as to why is long. Everybody has their theories on solutions to the issue, with most believing that they all be corrected if only the big three of Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, and Bradley Beal would take the court at the same time. Fourth-quarter shooting, offensive and defensive rotations, turnovers, substitution patterns; all will be right in the world if we see the big three.
We still do not know exactly who the Suns are until they have an opportunity for all three of these players to play, have rotations to be built around them, and chemistry to be built. That has unfortunately not happened to date as both Bradley Beal and Devin Booker have missed time. Beal missed seven games due to lower back tightness, and Devin Booker has had issues with his lower left leg. It started with a foot, became an ankle, and for the last few games, he’s missed due to a calf strain.
All told the combo of Devin Booker and Bradley Beal has missed a combined 15 games. 35 yar-old Kevin Durant, easily the eldest of the trio, hasn’t missed any time and is averaging 36.7 minutes played.
All that will change on Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves as Devin Booker has now been cleared to play. Yes, the big three will eventually finally make their 2022-23 debut.
Phoenix Suns' Big 3 set to make regular season debut as Devin Booker expected to return Wednesday vs. Minnesota Timberwolves from right calf strain that's sidelined him last five games, sources say #Suns https://t.co/YsGCfsCgV1 via @azcentral— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) November 14, 2023
What should we expect? Rust. Probably some more turnovers. A team that has to learn to play together. Just by inserting talent into a starting lineup does not mean that it will automatically equate to winning.
Basketball is a game of chemistry and feel, and when properly combined with talent, winning occurs. But that chemistry takes time to develop. Understanding where each other is on the court, how to instinctively find your teammates or to know how and when to rely on them. These are things that take time.
Insert into the fold the fact that the substitution patterns will need development, as well as the stamina to play. Devin Booker has been out since playing against the San Antonio Spurs on November 2. We’ve seen that Bradley Beal has taken some time to get his legs under him as well. While it would nice to see the big three come out and blow the doors off of the competition, we must be realistic.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.