Phoenix Suns: 3 most important matchups against the Lakers

Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker (Photo by Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)
Phoenix Suns, Devin Booker (Photo by Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports) /
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The Phoenix Suns will have to defy the experts — as they have all season — in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

The Suns are a +120 underdog against the Los Angeles Lakers and there are questions about a few players and their chances with individual matchups.

The Phoenix Suns have three key matchups whose results could go a long way in determining first-round success against the Lakers.

The Suns added Chris Paul to a rising team that completed an 8-0 run in the Orlando bubble to close last season. Today, Phoenix is ready to join the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2010.

Jae Crowder also figures to carry a significant impact with his presence and 3-point shooting, and Devin Booker has to be about the hungriest player in the postseason.

The team finished with a 51-21 record, barely missing out on the No. 1 seed and what would have been a first-round matchup with the winner of Friday’s game between Golden State and Memphis.

Instead, it will be the Lakers, with a seemingly healthy LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

There is no shortage of players in the spotlight.

Coach of the Year finalist Monty Williams will have to be at his strategic best, closely monitoring the success of each matchup on the court. He’s leveraged the work done by general manager James Jones — this team has a collection of NBA pros; not just a bunch of roster fillers — and has plenty of tools at his disposal.