2020-21 NBA action continues as the Phoenix Suns visit Spectrum Center to take on the Charlotte Hornets. Both teams are in good form right now, with the Suns winning 10 of their last 13 games while the Hornets managed 9 wins in their last 14 matches.
This is the second time these two teams are meeting this season. Their last matchup was an astonishing upset by the Hornets, who ended the Suns' winning streak with a 124-121 victory.
All 5 Hornets starters scored in double-digits, combining for 70 points, with Malik Monk dropping 29 points and 5 threes off the bench. Suns' Devin Booker and Chris Paul combined for 53 points in that game but couldn't hold on to it for a win. That said, the Hornets will be playing without their rookie star, LaMelo Ball, in this matchup, which reduces their chances of winning.
Phoenix Suns vs Charlotte Hornets: Injury Updates
The Phoenix Suns are coming off some huge wins. They defeated both the LA Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers twice in the past month and nothing seems to slow down Devin Booker and Chris Paul.
The Suns have ruled out Abdel Nader against the Hornets due to a knee injury. The rest of the roster is healthy and coach Monty Williams can have the rotations he wants.
The Charlotte Hornets have surprised a lot of people in the league. Their rapid improvement has led them to the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference and they have continued to win games, despite the loss of LaMelo Ball.
Ball suffered a major wrist injury and will remain sidelined for the foreseeable future. The team reported that he has had a successful surgery on his wrist and will be re-evaluated in four weeks. The Hornets believe he might be back in time for the playoffs.
Moreover, Malik Monk and PJ Washington are both listed as probable for the game due to foot and leg injuries respectively. Brad Wanamaker was traded to the Charlotte Hornets ahead of the NBA trade deadline, but he isn't expected to lace up against the Suns tonight.
Phoenix Suns vs Charlotte Hornets: Predicted Lineups
With a majorly healthy squad, coach Monty Williams will retain his usual starting lineup. Chris Paul and Devin Booker form the team's star backcourt with Paul running the point.
Deandre Ayton has been flourishing as the Suns center, averaging nearly 11 rebounds per contest and is one of only 13 players averaging a double-double. Mikal Bridges should start as the small forward while Jae Crowder is the standard '3-and-D' player, who will remain as the power forward.
The Charlotte Hornets' starting lineup looks quite different, with many players listed either out or questionable. LaMelo Ball is recovering from a wrist injury and until he returns, Gordon Hayward will start as the small forward instead of the power forward position.
PJ Washington is questionable for the game and Miles Bridges is expected to replace him. Meanwhile, Devonte' Graham and Terry Rozier will start in the backcourt as usual. Both are technically point guards but Graham will reprise that role, with Rozier starting as the two-guard. And finally, Cody Zeller will play at the center position.
Phoenix Suns vs Charlotte Hornets: Predicted Starting 5s
Point Guard - Chris Paul | Shooting Guard - Devin Booker | Small Forward - Mikal Bridges | Power Forward - Jae Crowder | Center - Deandre Ayton.
Point Guard - Devonte' Graham | Shooting Guard - Terry Rozier | Small Forward - Gordon Hayward | Power Forward - Miles Bridges | Center - Cody Zeller.