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Suns’ bench accounts for just 10 points in Game One

Apr 16, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns center Bismack Biyombo (18) and Phoenix Suns forward Josh Okogie (2) box out LA Clippers center Mason Plumlee (44) during the first half of game one of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Suns came out flat against the Clippers and were handed their first loss with Kevin Durant in the starting lineup. Now, Phoenix will have to play from behind in the series if they want to advance to play the winner of the Nuggets vs. Timberwolves matchup.

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But, when looking at the final box score, it was not the starters that cost Phoenix the game. Instead, it was the lack of depth coming off the bench.

In total, Phoenix’s bench accounted for just 10 points.

Ish Wainright: 7 minutes, 0-2 FG, 0 points, -12

Josh Okogie: 7 minutes, 0-1 FG, 0 points, -10

Bismack Biyombo: 5 minutes, 2-4 FT, 2 points, -11

Jock Landale: 8 minutes, 1-3 FG, 4 points, -8

Landry Shamet: 24 minutes, 2-5 FG, 4 points, -14

An average +/- of -11 from the Suns’ bench is absolutely unacceptable in a game where they lose by only five. When Monty Williams can barely afford to take Kevin Durant or Devin Booker out for a couple of minutes without the game slipping away, there is an obvious issue.

For the Clippers, their bench put up a total of 34 points and averaged +13, giving them an astronomical advantage.

A big question surrounding the Suns’ bench was the absence of T.J. Warren and Terrance Ross. Both were acquired just before the trade deadline for these types of minutes, yet neither saw any meaningful playing time. Warren and Ross combined for 0 points for the first time since they were brought over to the valley.

If the Suns want any chance of coming back to take the series, they will need some helpful minutes from the bench to relieve the pressure that is currently on Kevin Durant and Devin Booker.

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