Chris Paul is out against Cavaliers for Phoenix Suns on Monday
(AP Photo / Nick Wass)
The understaffed Phoenix Suns only have 10 players left on Monday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Starting point guard Chris Paul is out due to a sore right Achilles tendon, head coach Monty Williams said during his pre-game media availability. It was listed as a questionable heading in the game.
Paul will miss his first game of the season. He averaged 16.4 points, 8.2 assists (sixth in the NBA), 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 32.4 minutes per competition. The 10-time All-Star shoots 53.2% from the field and 32.1% from a distance. He also makes the most of the charity flick and converts 97% of his free throw attempts.
With Paul out, he joins teammates Abdel Nader (left ankle pain), Jae Crowder (right foot pain), Cam Payne (right foot sprain) and Dario Saric (left ankle sprain) who are unavailable against Cleveland . The four suns already excluded are considered commonplace.
The missing bodies give Williams a choice of how to approach his launch site.
The starting gun guard Devin Booker and the base guard E’Twaun Moore are the only two ball handlers who are able to carry out the offense.
Starting Booker and letting him initiate everything naturally burdens him more. Williams coldly view Langston Galloway or Jevon Carter as the two-guard opposite of Booker if he should go “Point Book”.
Mikal Bridges, Frank Kaminsky and Deandre Ayton started the last two games together with Paul and Booker. Rookie first round winner Jalen Smith is in line to see his first real minutes since the season opener.
Crowder has been battling pain in his right foot since Wednesday and has failed the team’s last two games. He averages 10.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.
Payne, who averaged 6.6 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game this season, hasn’t played since Jan. 23.
Saric has only played seven games this season. In 18.8 minutes per game, Saric averages 10.6 points and 4.6 rebounds.
Nader missed his second game in a row.
The Suns, who have won five of their last six, will look to improve on their 13-9 record when they take on the Cavaliers (10-14) at 7pm at the 98.7 FM Arizona Sports Station.