Phoenix Suns: Who is at risk of being squeezed out of the rotation?

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams has shown clear preference his early-game rotation decisions.

Suns fans know to expect Chris Paul to head for the sideline with about half the first quarter gone, and Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton have been assigned similar routines.

Phoenix Suns reserves have an active battle for playing time, however, with every night bring the danger of losing their rotation spot.

Each of the team’s non-starters brings a sliding scale of value, and each has shown some form of contribution this season.

As the playoffs draw near, the strengths and weaknesses of the Suns roster are magnified, leading to a “prove-it” atmosphere for many of the Suns players.

Phoenix enters Thursday’s home game against the Sacramento Kings at 39-15 and, with only 18 games remaining in the NBA’s compressed regular season, every game carries an impact in the race for Western Conference seeding.

The Suns have become national media darlings over the past couple of months, continuing to defy the doubters as they climb the conference standings. The resiliency shown in the overtime win against Utah, the bounce-back from a loss to the Clippers, the shooting display against Houston and the fortitude shown in Tuesday’s victory over the Miami Heat all underscore the reality: This team is an elite playoff contender.

During its current home winning streak, Phoenix has shown the value of home-court comfort and, during April, several of the bench players have shined in their abbreviated opportunities.

Following is a breakdown of four positional situations whose night-to-night results will weigh heavily on these players’ ability to remain relevant and in Williams’ rotation plans.