Two top teams in the NBA will collide as the Phoenix Suns take on the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center today. In the previous encounter between the two sides, the Nets came out on top with a 128-124 victory over the Suns.
The Phoenix Suns have been in indifferent form lately, winning just two out of four games. They lost against the Celtics in their last outing by 86-99. The Suns trailed by 21 points at the half, which made it difficult for them to get going down the stretch.
Chris Paul led the charge with 22 points and eight assists on the night, but an underwhelming performance from the bench saw his efforts go in vain.
The Brooklyn Nets, meanwhile, also faced the Celtics in their last game. Unlike their opponents for the next game, though, the short-handed Nets managed to beat the C's 109-104.
Joe Harris led with 20 points, while Kyrie Irving managed another double-double with 15 points and 11 assists on the night. Brooklyn played without Kevin Durant for the third straight game, who has been ruled out due to a thigh contusion.
Phoenix Suns vs. Brooklyn Nets - Injury Report
The Phoenix Suns have several absentees ahead of the game against the Brooklyn Nets, as Abdel Nader, Dario Saric, Langston Galloway and Jae Crowder are all ruled out.
Nader has been ruled out with a knee injury and is not expected to return until April 28th. Meanwhile, Jae Crowder sprained his ankle a few days back and is expected to return by April 26th.
As for Saric and Galloway, the duo aren't injured as such. The former is rested for this game while the latter won't feature due to personal reasons.
The Brooklyn Nets have a long list of players currently mentioned in the injury report. Kevin Durant and Tyler Johnson are two players who could make their returns today, with both being listed as probable.
The former has been nursing a thigh injury, while the latter has been sidelined due to a knee injury. As per reports, their availability for the match will be a 'game-time decision.
Alize Johnson and Nicolas Claxton have been ruled out because of Covid protocols and are likely to return by April 27th.
Meanwhile, long-term absentees - James Harden (hamstring) and Chris Chiozza (hand) - are likely to be sidelined until May 11th and May 16th, respectively.
Phoenix Suns vs. Brooklyn Nets - Predicted Lineups
The Phoenix Suns will likely retain the same set of starters from the last game for today's matchup against the Brooklyn Nets.
In that case, the backcourt will likely be occupied by Chris Paul and Devin Booker as usual, while forwards Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson will likely pair up with center Deandre Ayton.
Torrey Craig and Cameron Payne are likely to play the most rotation minutes for the Phoenix Suns from the reserves.
The Brooklyn Nets are likely to play the same starting five from their last game as well.
Kyrie Irving and Landry Shamet have formed a terrific partnership on the backcourt and will likely retain their place in the starting lineup. Meanwhile, forwards Joe Harris and Jeff Green are likely to retain their place in the starting five, alongside center DeAndre Jordan.
From the reserves, the likes of Blake Griffin, Bruce Brown Jr. and Mike James are likely to play the most minutes off the bench.
As mentioned earlier, Kevin Durant's inclusion in the lineup is a game-time decision. Based on Durant's injury history this season, the Nets will likely keep him sidelined for this game. If he does play, though, he might start instead of Jeff Green or likely come off the bench to play on a minute restriction.
Phoenix Suns vs. Brooklyn Nets - Predicted Starting 5s
Point Guard - Chris Paul l Shooting Guard - Devin Booker l Small Forward - Mikal Bridges l Power Forward - Cameron Johnson l Center - Deandre Ayton
Point Guard - Kyrie Irving l Shooting Guard - Landry Shamet l Small Forward - Joe Harris l Power Forward - Jeff Green l Center - DeAndre Jordan