When: Friday Nov. 17 — at 8:00 p.m. AZ time
Where: Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
Watch: Arizona’s Family 3TV, ESPN
Listen: 98.7 FM
After losing three straight before defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night, the Phoenix Suns have a chance to begin a winning streak.
The play from the role players last game gave us a little bit more confidence heading into the Suns’ second In-Season Tournament game versus the Utah Jazz. With Grayson Allen and Eric Gordon starting the last game, they held their own by hitting big shots and making big plays.
In the minutes without Devin Booker on the floor, Kevin Durant continued to be efficient and effective, maintaining a focus on getting his shots while keeping his teammates involved. The passing to and from the bigs in Jusuf Nurkic and Drew Eubanks showed that the Suns appear to be close to figuring out the offense and limiting their turnovers.
First KD to Drew Eubanks.
Then, Nurkic to KD.
Most importantly, Booker is back, and yes, he is our point guard!
Booker brings so much to this team that it is insane. How bad they look without him and how much better they are with him on the court is easy to notice. He understands when to take a shot and when not to. When to find a teammate or when drive to the lane to find his spot. At times his game is so flawless and the thought of MVP is already in the rumblings this early in the season.
"He looked great. The pop was there, just playing with pace." - KD on @DevinBook— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) November 16, 2023
Watch last night's media availability featuring Frank Vogel, KD, and Book: https://t.co/sqktPN9omT@MountainAmerica | #ComingInHot pic.twitter.com/MlBtLFuCLl
- Eric Gordon
- Devin Booker
- Grayson Allen
- Kevin Durant
- Jusuf Nurkic
- Ochai Agbaji
- John Collins
- Lauri Markkanen
- Jordan Clarkson
- Keyonte George
Phoenix Suns: Bradley Beal (day-to-day), Damion Lee (out)
Utah Jazz: Walker Kessler (out)
What to Watch For
The injury report, one hour before the game. Don’t believe anything you hear or see before the game starts until the tip-off has occurred. With Bradley Beal missing the last game and scratched from the starting lineup one hour before the game, it’s hard to know who out of the big three will start for the Suns tonight.
In all honesty, it doesn’t really matter. It is an In-Season Tournament game and should be treated seriously, but the health of Beal comes first.
All we need to see is Devin Booker walking onto the court and running the Suns offense.
The Suns only allowed two turnovers in the first half of their most recent game, but they gave up seven more in the second half. Even though the Suns finished off the Minnesota Timberwolves by holding a monstrous lead over, I think another game or two ending with the Suns victorious will keep the fans at ease.
The fourth quarter again is where it’s at.
Keys to a Suns Win
It starts and ends with turnovers. The Suns failed game after game without Booker in the fourth quarter, but it was turnovers all game long that kept them from piling on the lead.
It is really that simple, and with Booker at the helm, the game is that much easier if the turnovers stay single digits.
The Suns win a close one, 110-105, and move back to .500.