Phoenix Suns fans, don’t worry about Mikal Bridges

Phoenix Suns Mikal Bridges (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns Mikal Bridges (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Mikal Bridges played just 11.5 seconds in the Phoenix Suns opening night victory over the Dallas Mavericks, but there’s still no reason to be concerned.

After the Phoenix Suns statement opening night win, there were many things to be excited about and several standout performances. One player who most expected to be right in the middle of the action but was left on the bench was Mikal Bridges.

With Bridges being the number ten pick, picking up what was essentially a DNP opening night it could cause some concern. However several factors played into this decision that make it a smaller issue than it appears to be.

For the Phoenix Suns and Igor Kokoškov, getting number ten pick Mikal Bridges playing time has to be a priority. However, they shouldn’t feel the need to force the situation. It should happen naturally when the situation presents itself.

On nights like opening night where Trevor Ariza, Josh Jackson, and T.J. Warren combine for 56 points and hit 11 threes, the Suns might not need anything out of Bridges. Especially with a new head coach and players with more experience than Mikal playing well, it wouldn’t have been smart to take out the hot hands to put him in. Unfortunately those stat lines are not going to consistently be there each game, which is when Bridges will get his opportunity.

Another factor that might have gone under the radar was that Bridges could still have been recovering from his elbow injury that left him out the last three preseason games, even if he was suited up to play. Especially with a rookie, you don’t want them to come back and make their official NBA debut unless they are 100% ready. If Bridges played slightly injured to start the year and performs poorly, it could mess with his confidence for longer than an injury would.

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As the games go by and Bridges gets incorporated into the offense, a role should present itself. There will be injuries, foul trouble, and blowout games to give him the initial chance to show himself off if nothing else. The opening night game should be seen as an outlier rather than a sign of what’s to come. Bridges will make his way onto the court soon enough, and only until that happens should fans be worried about his role on the team.