Connect with us

Phoenix Suns

Biggest Takeaways from the Suns Preseason Loss to the Nuggets

On Tuesday, October 10th the Phoenix Suns lost their home preseason opener to the Denver Nuggets. Suns’ head coach Frank Vogel made the decision to sit Bradley Beal, Kevin Durant, and Devin Booker in this match-up. This made perfect sense as the Suns had just played on the road against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!

The three biggest stars on the team have to be paced correctly for the marathon called the regular season that is about to begin. Also Frank Vogel may not have wanted to show the defending champion Nuggets too much of what he wants the team to do during the regular season from an execution standpoint.

The Suns starting five for this game was Saban Lee, Grayson Allen, Josh Okogie, Chimezie Metu, and Jusuf Nurkic. This was the Nuggets first preseason game. They started Jamal Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Justin Holiday, Aaron Gordon, and Nikola Jokic. What stood out from the Suns in this game?

Josh Okogie Should Be The Fifth Starter

There are four starter spots that are locked in, Bradley Beal, Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Jusuf Nurkic. Josh Okogie is thought to be the front runner for that fifth starting spot. He may have put some space between him and the competition after this game.

Okogie had a very good all-around game. He finished with 17 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and only one turnover. The former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket was also efficient in this game shooting 7/13 from the floor and 3/6 from three point range.

Going into the season Okogie was already viewed as a great defender. Now it looks as if his offensive acumen may have caught up with his defensive IQ. If Okogie is consistent on the offensive end along with his great defense. He is the perfect fit along side Durant, Booker, and Beal.

Grayson Allen As A Depth Piece is Unfair

Grayson Allen may be one of the other players competing for that fifth starter spot. He has definitely made a great case for himself as he has played very well in both preseason games. In the game against the Nuggets, Allen scored 10 points and dished out seven assists.

He also had five turnovers which isn’t good but that’s not the norm for him. He also won’t be in the play-making role as much during the regular season.

The former Duke Blue Devil has experience as a starter on championship contending teams. He started for the Milwaukee Bucks for the last two seasons. Having someone with that experience coming off of the bench could be a factor that helps separate the Suns from the rest of the crowded western conference.

Jusuf Nurkic: The Jokic Stopper?

Throughout the history of the NBA there have been players who were thought to be the answer against great offensive players. 10-year NBA veteran Ruben Patterson called himself the Kobe (Bryant) Stopper. Now, actually there was no Kobe stopper. Bryant averaged 29.3 points per game in his 23 games against Patterson.

Patterson may not have been able to stop Bryant but he did make him work hard. The Kobe Work Harder just doesn’t have the same ring to it though. Bryant shot 44% from the floor and only 30% from three against Patterson.

Jusuf Nurkic could be the Nikola Jokic Work Harder. This is just preseason, that has to be said but in this game Jokic went 4/11 from the floor and 0/3 from three point range. During the regular season and playoffs, if Nurkic is able to make Jokic work hard on both ends and have an inefficient night at the right time. That could be the key to the Suns making to the NBA Finals.


More in Phoenix Suns