When: 5:30 p.m. AZ Time
Where: Barclays Center
Watch: Bally Sports AZ, TNT
Listen: 98.7 FM
Line: Suns -6.0
The Phoenix Suns will take on a Brooklyn Nets team that is at the center of trade deadline discussions in the NBA world.
First, let’s focus on the basketball part. It is Devin Booker’s return, after all.
Devin Booker is expected to play tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/NHsokhe9qH— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) February 6, 2023
Monty Williams said the Suns’ star guard will be on a minutes restriction in his return, as expected.
The teams will meet for the second time this season. The Suns won 117-112 in the last matchup on January 20th. Mikal Bridges led the Suns with 28 points in the victory, and former Net Kyrie Irving led the Nets with 30 points in a loss.
This is also the day that new owner Mat Ishbia’s purchase of the Suns will be complete and the NBA trade deadline is two days away. A lot is going on, and we will have you covered with the latest here on Bright Side.
Oh boy. Where to even start here?
Kyrie Irving (and Markieff Morris) were dealt for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, and draft capital.
It appears the Nets believe they can still compete and are trying to convince Kevin Durant (who had Phoenix as his preferred destination this summer) to stay put.
It’s unclear if Spencer Dinwiddie or Dorian Finney-Smith will suit up for their new club, as the turnaround time would be fairly quick. We’ll keep our eyes peeled looking for updates on that end.
The Suns, meanwhile are at the heart of plenty of rumors around the league with rival executives expecting them to be among the most active.
- Deandre Ayton
- Cam Johnson
- Mikal Bridges
- Devin Booker
- Chris Paul
Oh, how sweet it is to see that five again.
- Nic Claxton
- Royce O’Neal
- Joe Harris
- Cam Thomas
- Ben Simmons
- Cam Payne (OUT)
- Landry Shamet (OUT)
- Jae Crowder (at home)
- Seth Curry (OUT)
- Kevin Durant (OUT)
- TJ Warren (QUESTIONABLE)
Containing the red-hot Cam Thomas will be a major key for the Suns tonight. The certified bucket-getter has been torching defenses in his last two contests, putting up 91 points on just 52 shots. Mikal Bridges will likely get that assignment.
Cam Thomas since Kyrie requested a trade:— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 7, 2023
44 PTS, 4 3PM, 16-23 FG
47 PTS, 7 3PM, 15-29 FG pic.twitter.com/AhNHamUUob
Ben Simmons is set to return for the Nets, so the matchup between him and Devin Booker could be interesting if they decide to use him as the primary defender against Book.
Nets role players stepped up big and went toe-to-toe with a full-strength Clippers squad last night, so they will not be a rollover opponent.
In addition to Thomas’s 47-point explosion, Edmond Sumner scored 23 after coming off a career-high 29 the night before, Nic Claxton had yet another double-double, and Royce O’Neale contributed with 15 points.
The Claxton-Ayton matchup will be one to watch. Phoenix should control the glass and the interior against a smaller Nets team.
Devin Booker’s return couldn’t come soon enough, as the Suns' offense was sputtering without him until this recent surge from the team.
The Suns starting five has only played 67 minutes combined minutes together this season. In that stretch, they have a 125.5 offensive rating, a 92.4 defensive rating, and an overall net rating of 33.1 with a True Shooting Percent of 65.2. In short, that is very good.
The Suns starting five of Paul, Booker, Bridges, Johnson and Ayton have only played 67 minutes together this season.— Zona (@ZonaHoops_) February 7, 2023
In that stretch:
NET RTG: 33.1
Phoenix’s road record sits at 10-17 on the season, and this comes after picking up a pair of road wins against Boston and Detroit last week.
The Suns are 8-2 in their last ten games and trending up ahead of Booker’s return after a nightmarish January stretch.
Suns extend win streak to 3, take down Nets by 7.
120-113, good guys.