Phoenix Suns get key players back for game vs Denver Nuggets

The Phoenix Suns have struggled with injuries all season long, but these players will be back to face the Denver Nuggets.
Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns
Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The Phoenix Suns may have lost their last game to the Toronto Raptors - a contest that snapped a seven game winning streak for the team - but the season has gone well to this point. After a rocky start in which the group dropped back-to-back games against the San Antonio Spurs, who have not won a single game since then, the Suns have steadied the ship.

It would be amazing to see Bradley Beal suit up again before Christmas, but he is still more than a week away from being re-evaluated. The back issue which has limited him to only three games played all season continuing to keep him out. In fact the "Big 3" of Beal, Devin Booker and Kevin Durant haven't seen one minute of competitive action together, which was not the plan for this franchise.

Then there is Durant, who missed two games recently through foot soreness but appears fully healthy once more. This is a big week for the Suns, who welcome the defending champion Denver Nuggets to the Footprint Center to kick off the month, before trying to win the inagural in-season tournament. We already know Booker's thoughts on that, and any chance to win some silverware should be taken seriously.

To do that - and beat the Nuggets beforehand - the Suns are going to have to get as many healthy bodies on the court as possible, and we now have an update on several of their key players.

Beal is of course out, while Durant is available. Booker unfortunately is listed as questionable, having rolled his ankle and then tried to play through the injury in the loss to the Raptors in Toronto. He managed to play 33 minutes - although the merits of doing this are hard to argue because he could have made it worse - and finished with only eight points. After the game, head coach Frank Vogel had this to say;

If the Suns are to have any chance against the Nuggets, then having Booker running the show as the point guard is a must. On the other hand, would you rather lose this game in order to beat the Los Angeles Lakers for what would be the first time this season, and in doing so head to Las Vegas for the semi-finals of the in-season tournament?

Perhaps the organization are viewing the Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies home game the following night as contests where they can again lean heavily on Durant, in the hopes that Booker can make the trip to Los Angeles. In any event we may not see him, but there is some good news for coach Vogel in the form of two rotation players becoming available again.

The first is Grayson Allen - arguably the Suns' third best player so far this season - who had missed the last couple of games through illness. With players signed this summer eligible to be traded starting on December 15th, there are plenty of teams who would love to have Allen. Not that the Suns are even thinking about moving him, not even for a previous trade target from the offseason.

Allen has shot an insane 47.5 percent from deep so far this season, on five attempts per night. With Beal out of the lineup, Allen has done a brilliant job of knocking down open shots - many of which have come from deep - while also chipping in defensively. It is clear both Booker and Durant trust Allen when he is on the court, and his return is a boost for the club.

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The second is Nassir Little, who didn't make the trip to Toronto for the birth of his daughter, but who will suit up now that the Suns are back in The Valley. Few players on this roster have taken their chance like Little has this season, especially as he landed with the team late in the offseason and was seen as an afterthought in the Deandre Ayton to the Portland Trail Blazers deal.

He has quietly become a positive influence off the bench, which has been a welcome boost for the organization with the likes of Yuta Watanabe and Keita Bates-Diop not always hitting the heights expected of them. With Booker's final status unknown until closer to tip-off, having two of their top nine guys back in Allen and Little is a welcome boost as the Suns look to get back to winning ways.