If you were expecting see see the Phoenix Suns Big Three soon, you will have to wait longer. Three weeks longer. Bradley Beal, who was a late scratch prior to the Suns’ victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, will be re-evaluated in three weeks. He is suffering from a lower back strain.
Suns star Bradley Beal will be out and re-evaluated in three weeks as he continues to rehab a low back strain.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 17, 2023
Since Bradley Beal notched all his previously incredible games in different uniform colors, on the other side of the country, Phoenix Suns fans have little yet to cheer about. We here in Phoenix are waiting for one of those signature moments to come in purple and orange.
Where’s the beef, Brad? It’s been 11 games, and what have you done? Are you damaged goods?
It’s that pattern of missed games that has people worried. He last played a full schedule in 2018-19, five years ago. Here’s the tale of the games missed since then:
- 2019-20: 7 games missed
- 2020-21: 11 (3 of which were tank sits)
- 2021-22; 42 games (last 35 were tank/contract sits, contract uncertainty)
- 2022-23: 33 games missed (last 10 were tank sits)
Don’t let me paint too bright a shade of purple on his old pink uniform, though. Beal is just as likely as Book to suffer from a series of short-term soft-tissue injuries — hammy, wrist, foot, thigh, wrist, knee, and now back.
Beal plays hard. You see him, even while feeling pain in the games early this season, he dives for loose balls, drives into bigs for the and-one-harm, and generally seeks rather than avoids contact.
On offense, for his career, he gets to the line 5 times a game, which would have ranked him 3rd on last year’s post-deadline team (enter Kevin Durant) and second on the two contending iterations before that.
He also gets in there among biggers for rebounds to the tune of 4.1 per game for his career, higher than many of the small forwards we’ve seen come through here. His career 4.3 assists would have ranked 4th on the Suns a year ago, just behind Cam Payne.
Maybe just maybe we should cut this guy some slack and give him time to get his back together in one piece before deciding he wasn’t worth the risk.
The Suns third best player is a career 23 points/per/game scorer who’s topped 50+ points a handful of times, dropped 23 double-doubles (pts/assts), and a pair of triple-doubles in just these last five often commented injury-riddled years. And he’s only just turned 30 years old.
Get the back right, and then we’ll see the Real Deal Beal.