Injuries to Johnson, Payne allow Phoenix Suns extended look at depth

PHOENIX — The just right information for the Phoenix Suns on Friday is that the reevaluation level for accidents to ahead Cam Johnson (proper thumb sprain) and Cam Payne (proper finger sprain) is one week, which means it’s nonetheless within the playing cards for them to be OK via the regular-season opener 12 days later.

While the wounds are lower than supreme, some other certain to unearth from the placement is that it’s going to allow the Suns to get an extended look at their depth within the two positions that had probably the most questions getting into the season.

“That’s what the preseason is for,” head trainer Monty Williams mentioned Friday about different gamers getting the ones alternatives. “You want to be able to get guys conditioning, you want to get a rhythm but you also get a chance to learn a few things about your team.”

Johnson will tackle Jae Crowder’s position because the beginning energy ahead, and when it comes to who will get the nod there for Monday’s preseason matchup in Denver towards the Nuggets, it’s now not an obtrusive pick out.

Big guy Dario Saric closed the primary part with the starters in Sunday’s victory over the Los Angeles Lakers whilst wing Torrey Craig began the second one part along them. There’s additionally second-year ahead Ish Wainright, and in smaller appears to be like, wings Damion Lee and Josh Okogie.

“I think it gives you an opportunity to look at different guys there for sure,” Williams mentioned, noting he desires to see extra of Saric at the 4.

Speaking of Okogie, who is restricted presently and might be reevaluated on Oct. 14 as a result of a left hamstring pressure, Williams discussed him when operating in the course of the backcourt.

As some distance as ball-handlers at the bench out of doors of Payne, there’s two-guard Landry Shamet and two-way guard Duane Washington Jr.

They each took at the tasks of operating the display when place to begin guard Chris Paul wasn’t available in the market, and as for the mins when Shamet does it rather than Payne, Williams desires to get a look at how Okogie would look with Shamet.

“I’ve really wanted to see those two in the backcourt to get some size back there and see if we can switch better and be a bit physical in the backcourt off the bench,” Williams mentioned.

Williams wouldn’t say if that suggests Okogie is forward of agenda and may just see a while this preseason however I percentage Williams’ want to get a look at that reserve backcourt.

Shamet inspired ultimate 12 months along with his total talent as a defender, the place he in particular truly shined at the ball within the postseason. He’s cemented himself as a just right defender and I wouldn’t look down on any arguments going a degree or two above that once describing his skill there.

Okogie arrives in Phoenix after 4 years with the Minnesota Timberwolves. His athleticism has jumped out to his friends via practices and Shamet known as Okogie an “elite defender.”

The swing for that crew could be offensively.

Shamet has infrequently performed as some extent guard within the NBA after doing so at Wichita State in faculty.

“I do think he’s capable of playing both positions,” Williams mentioned.

It’s part of Shamet’s sport the place there’s obviously some untapped possible I wrote about ultimate 12 months, a breakout that would nonetheless come.

Shamet believes that position, one he described as his “nine-to-five” in his collegiate days, is the place he’s going to make his mark by the point the entirety is all mentioned and completed.

“It’s comfortable for me,” Shamet mentioned Friday. “It’s fun to step back into that. That’s ultimately what I foresee my career being defined as. Either way, it just comes down to what we need as a team.”

Confidence and aggression have at all times been the 2 keys with it, going again to ultimate 12 months at each guard spots. It regarded nice on Sunday when he scored 21 issues.

“The way that he directed the team from a pace standpoint — I didn’t think he got caught up in trying to call 10-12 plays the way that Chris can,” Williams mentioned. “I thought he found the package of plays and he played with pace. It was a huge lift in the second half.”

Williams known as this play underneath the signature some of the sport from a tempo and area point of view. You can see how Shamet truly pushes it up the courtroom to get into one of the crucial movement and dribble-handoffs that may increase and the way everybody at the ground were given transferring.

Shamet was once ready to get off seven 3s and hit 5 of them, together with a couple of off the dribble.

He’s a great shooter however has struggled up to now with pull-up 3s. Over his 4 NBA seasons, Shamet is 87-of-271 (32.1%) on triples off the jump, a underneath moderate quantity. To be honest, Shamet hasn’t taken lots of the ones in roles like the only he’ll command within the preseason. And his 33-for-81 (40.7%) mark from his rookie 12 months was once a season through which he did get to pass at the ball extra.

It’s some of the tactics through which those mins might be a receive advantages to him and the staff for 2 extra preseason video games.

“It’s a lot of reps,” Shamet mentioned. “Lot of experience in different situations that’ll arise in the next couple games. I’m gonna take it for what it’s worth, I’m excited about it, it’s fun for me, I enjoy it and focus on doing it to the best of my ability.”

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