What will the Phoenix Suns 2022 NBA Playoffs Rotation Look Like?

Phoenix Suns, Monty Williams (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Monty Williams (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns secured the top seed in the entire NBA with their win over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday. That effort also helped them build up what is now an eight game winning streak. Riddled with talent that all seems to be rounding out at the perfect time, the Suns look fortified, deadly, and ready to chase that Larry O’Brien trophy.

But even with the entire team firing on all cylinders, Devin Booker pushing for a late season MVP run, Chris Paul getting back in stride after his hand injury, and even Landry Shamet heating up, Monty Williams and the Suns staff will have no choice but to start cutting minutes as they begin their postseason preparations.

Even with Phoenix possessing a near perfect roster right now, binding and molding it into playoff mode will take some time. Postseason basketball in the NBA tends to look different than regular season play—and Williams will need to account for that when establishing his rotation.

During the postseason, teams often cut their rotation down to seven, eight, or maybe nine players at most, with their stars getting minimal rest.

Last season, we saw Booker play an extra seven minutes per game during the postseason, while Deandre Ayton’s run time increased by roughly six minutes per contest. At the other side of this equation, Dario Saric, Frank Kaminsky, and even Cameron Johnson saw their minutes decrease.

Even with this year’s Suns team looking deeper than the Mariana Trench, Williams will have to take an axe to his rotation as well.

First and foremost, Phoenix will look to provide their starters with some extra run time. Expect Booker to see over 40 minutes per night, which promises to cool off Shamet’s shooting production.

CP3’s minutes seem likely to increase at a similar rate from the regular season, but might vary based on his health and how each series is going. If the first round ends up as a wash for Phoenix, Williams might rest Paul a bit more and hand extra minutes to Cameron Payne.

The fun question comes when you start talking about Jae Crowder and Cameron Johnson. Johnson’s minutes did slightly dip during last year’s playoffs, but he’s been a different player this season and resembles a highly valuable asset off the bench. If he gets healthy in time, do not be surprised if Johnson sees big minutes in the playoffs.

The big man rotation likely gets cut down to two, featuring Deandre Ayton and JaVale McGee. Despite his solid play this year, Bismack Biyombo will revert to a safety valve role.

Expect Aaron Holiday and Torrey Craig to experience the largest cuts in minutes played given their spots as strict bench guys right now. However, Craig will be a wild card based on his ability to guard multiple positions.

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These playoffs are going to be fun for Suns fans, and with the expectation of running it back in the Finals, there is pressure on this team. No matter who they send out there, the Phoenix faithful needs to trust Monty and the staff—they know what they’re doing. Buckle up, it’s going to be a fun couple weeks.