Phoenix Suns: 3 Things to Watch for in Final Preseason Game vs Portland

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /
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Phoenix Suns, Landry Shamet
Phoenix Suns, Landry Shamet (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Phoenix Suns Preseason Finale: How is Landry Shamet Used with Regard to Devin Booker?

Right before training camp opened up, Devin Booker contracted COVID-19 and needed to sit out from team activities for about a week. Trying to recover since that point, the Suns are taking things slow with their star pupil, keeping him sidelined for each preseason game thus far.

Meant to work as his backup this season, newcomer Landry Shamet stepped up into the starting lineup with Booker gone, playing frequently with all the other Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Paul, and Crowder.

But even though everyone expects Booker to play opening night, how the Suns handle Shamet’s minutes might shed light on Booker’s rehab progress, as well as the team’s confidence in him.

If zero doubt exists in Monty Williams’s mind about Booker’s readiness for the season opener, then we likely see Shamet stay on the floor more often during this game and run with the second unit. This moves makes sense, as the Suns want Shamet to build some chemistry with the guys he will actually play beside this season, rather than the starters.

However, if Shamet plays strictly with the starting unit once again, it might mean that Williams  wants keep him as a “plan B” option should Booker fail to ramp up in time. If so, that reflects at least some doubt from Williams in Booker’s availability for the season opener, which certainly gives way to some concern.

This ideology is built primarily around assumptions though, so if Shamet indeed logs minutes with the starters, make sure to monitor it, but still take it with a grain of salt.