Phoenix Suns v Denver Nuggets – Role Players on Watch

Phoenix Suns, Denver Nuggets (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Denver Nuggets (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns will visit the Denver Nuggets on Monday, with each team looking to build form in their third preseason game.

Phoenix bounced back from a shock defeat to the Adelaide 36ers, recording a come from behind win against the Los Angeles Lakers last Wednesday. Denver are yet to salute through two games, suffering double digit losses to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Chicago Bulls.

The Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets will each be undermanned with a host of key players set to miss Monday’s clash in Las Vegas.

According to Arizona Sports’ Duane Rankin, the Suns will be without four regular rotational players on top of Jae Crowder. Cameron Johnson and Cameron Payne have already been ruled out for the remainder of preseason, with Landry Shamet and Dario Saric also ruled out.

Denver may have their role players on deck, but they’ll likely be without two-time MVP Nikola Jokic and the returning Jamal Murray. 

The absences of Jokic and Murray could lead to limited minutes for the Suns starters, depending on what level of preparation Monty Williams wants to provide ahead of the October 19 regular season opener.

We could see more responsibility handed to Michael Porter Jr., the 6’10” forward who’s returning from his own major injury. The likely matchup between he and Mikal Bridges could be fascinating after the latter fouled out in 22 minutes against the Lakers.

The biggest watch will again be on the role players battling for minutes, with the absence of Shamet and Saric an unfortunate and disappointing result. However, in positive news for the Suns, Josh Okogie could make his Suns debut. There could present a battle between he and Torrey Craig for minutes in the regular season rotation, although Craig should get plenty of opportunity to shine as the likely replacement for Johnson in the starting lineup.

Next. Phoenix Suns may need to sacrifice defense for bench production. dark

Payne’s absence should lead to greater minutes for Duane Washington Jr., while Frank Jackson and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot could also get another opportunity to push for the Suns vacant 15th roster spot.