The Phoenix Suns will be without their starting center Deandre Ayton in tonight’s elimination game against the Nuggets.
Ayton suffered a blow to the ribs from Bruce Brown in the 1st half of Game 5 in Denver. All signs pointed towards him being able to return after multiple quotes saying he was “OK” surfaced. It appears he cannot play through the pain and will not suit up tonight.
Shams Charania dropped the news around lunchtime that Phoenix would be without their big fella in the most important game of their season.
Suns center Deandre Ayton has been ruled out of Game 6 tonight vs. Nuggets due to his rib contusion, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 11, 2023
Denver could also be down a key player, as Jamal Murray is listed as questionable due to a non-COVID illness.
Jamal Murray (illness) now listed questionable Thursday.— Underdog NBA (@Underdog__NBA) May 11, 2023
He did not participate in the shootaround today for the Nuggets. If Murray is unable to go, expect more minutes from Bruce Brown and Christian Braun. Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith are also available for Denver if they look to extend their rotation.
The Suns replacing Ayton will likely come in the form of heavy Jock Landale minutes with Bismack Biyombo spotting him for his rest minutes unless Monty decides to play Durant at the five.
John Gambadoro also announced that Landry Shamet is expected to be in the starting lineup tonight. Likely joining Landale, Durant, Booker and Payne.
From what I am hearing we can expect Landry Shamet to be in the starting lineup for the Suns tonight.— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) May 11, 2023