The 2023-24 NBA season is almost upon us, with the Phoenix Suns facing a tough two game away trip to kick off their campaign. On opening night they will face the Golden State Warriors, and follow that up with a trip to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers.
The Suns can’t win a maiden NBA Championship in the first few weeks of the new season, but they can certainly go a long way towards losing it. Starting the season 0-2, although hardly a massive cause for concern, would not be ideal given the opponents they’ll be facing.
Which is why the starting five for opening night and beyond are of such importance to this Suns organization.
They need to get the mix of role players around their three superstars correct, and quickly, while also getting the best out of the top three on their roster. All of which have a chance to be All-Stars this coming season, with Devin Booker also in with a chance of being the league MVP if this all goes correctly.
Make no mistake, this Suns group is capable of winning it all, but a lot has to go right in order for them to do so. That starts with head coach Frank Vogel getting a settled starting five sorted for the regular season, while also not overworking his star trio too early in the season. Even if wins are harder to come by than the franchise would like in a crowded Western Conference.
Point Guard – Devin Booker
The point guard position is the most fascinating one that the Suns have, and it will be interesting to see how quickly Booker is used as a more traditional table-setter. Booker himself seems to have no problem in setting up his teammates, and his assist numbers should take a bump this coming season.
But the more time Booker spends facilitating for others and keeping the bigger picture in mind, the less time he has to go supernova and torch opponents. Not that this is a bad thing – Booker is an elite passer and superb playmaker, so it is not like the Suns are going to struggle putting their franchise player in this position.
But the league leading 33.7 points he averaged during the postseason last year should be all the information coach Vogel needs to get Booker off the ball from time to time, so that he can attack opponents and over and over.
The main issue here is that the depth beyond Booker isn’t great, with Jordan Goodwin and an impressive in preseason Saben Lee the backups. On the other hand, on some nights this will be a floor general by committee, such is the level of talent available to the Suns when fully healthy.