Welp, so much for then Phoenix Suns storming back into regular season mode after losing to the In-Season Tournament Lakerellas.
Oh wait, they actually did. The winds of caution have been fed back into the wind because, folks, this is still Dec 8 and there is still 75% of the season left to play before the inevitable playoffs come to town.
So the Suns are being cautious. As they should.
Let’s start with the good news - what’s NOT on the list
Devin ‘Soft-Tissue’ Booker is not on the list at all. He may have only suffered a hit of PTSD in another lackluster elimination game (at least it was more like the 2021 Finals than the others!). And at least this time it was a training exercise that he could stack up with his therapist to unravel before playoffs.
Eric Gordon’s knee seems fine. I thought I saw him bang it again in the first quarter, but if you’re not listed you’re you’re not listed.
Kevin Durant’s issue is being listed as ankle. The way he was grabbing it, could have been either ankle or foot. Ankle is better, since he played the rest of the game through it. does not seem like a long-term issue.
Now the bad news
Grayson Allen has had a really good stretch. He’s second on the team in three-point attempts (4.9, behind Gordon) and three-point percentage (46.%, behind Durant). and does a little bit of everything on the court. He’s a pretty good 5th starter, which he’s been in Milwaukee and now Phoenix the last three years.
Any injury listed as groin could be quick, but usually lingers.
We know that Bradley Beal (OUT) will be evaluated again today or soon, with the aim at him making his debut next week during the Suns’ 4-game homestand. The homestand stats with a back-to-back versus Steph’s Warriors and Mikal’s Nets, followed by a weekend of Knicks and his old team, the Wizards. We’ll see him at some point, but there’s no way he plays that whole doubleheader early in the week.
Stat Me, Dave
I’ve gotten a few queries on this: ‘Dave, with Allen and Gordon playing so well, do we really need Bradley Beal?’
We can take that multiple ways. DO we need the player? Uh yeah. Yes. Yes. Yes. You see how these games play out. Teams can still contain a Book/KD pairing with really good, long defenders. Toss Beal into the equation that whole model falls apart.
Allen and Gordon are waiting for an open shot and are not good enough playmakers to others. Imagine Beal in there instead.
I compared the stats of three players. Allen and Gordon’s numbers are THIS YEAR ALONE (hence 19 games) in their Suns roles with mostly one All-Star in the lineup with them. Brad Beal’s numbers are the last time he played with a prime All-Star, John Wall.
You want Eric Gordon on that court folks. He’s gonna be a great add to the lineup.
Happy Friday Game Day, Suns fans!