2019-20 Phoenix Suns Must-See Matchups
OPPONENT: Houston Rockets
DATE: December 21, 2019 & February 7, 2020
KEY MATCHUP: Devin Booker vs James Harden
BREAKDOWN: Over the last few seasons, Devin Booker has received comparisons to James Harden due to his elite scoring ability and the potential to create for others. That playmaking was on display during the 2018-19 season as Booker averaged a career-high 6.8 assists per game, joining Harden and LeBron James as the only three players in the league to average at least 26 points and 6 assists. While both the Suns and Rockets have made key changes to their roster, the two elite offensive weapons remain consistent.
OPPONENT: Los Angeles Lakers
DATE: November 12, 2019 & April 15, 2020
KEY MATCHUP: History / The Rivalry
BREAKDOWN: Nash vs Kobe. The Tim Thomas Three. The Closeline. The Ron Artest Tip-in. The rivalry between the Suns and Lakers goes back a half a century, but the 2000’s took it to another level. The chants of “Beat L.A.” will always be strong with the Phoenix fan base and it will be no different entering this next season. Legends such as Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Amar’e Stoudemire and Pau Gasol may all have departed, but new stars have been born into it with Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, LeBron James and Anthony Davis gearing up for this season.
OPPONENT: Denver Nuggets
DATE: December 23, 2019 & February 8, 2020
KEY MATCHUP: Deandre Ayton vs Nikola Jokic
BREAKDOWN: The modern-day NBA center has turned into one of the most unique positions in all of sports when you take into the account the size, finesse and skill level needed to dominate in the paint today. Few players fit that mold better than Deandre Ayton and Nikola Jokić. In just his rookie season, Ayton proved he could hold his own against the league’s best players as he shot the highest field goal percentage by a rookie averaging a double-double in NBA history. Mix in Jokić’s elite playmaking and deep shooting ability to form a thrilling head-to-head battle between the two big men.
OPPONENT: Philadelphia 76ers
DATE: November 4, 2019
KEY MATCHUP: Dario Šarić & Monty Williams vs Former Team
BREAKDOWN: While much of the attention and focus when the Suns and 76ers tip-off will be on the matchup between Deandre Ayton and Joel Embiid, the game will also provide a reunion for two of the newest members in the Phoenix organization. Dario Šarić spent the first two and half seasons of his career in Philadelphia while earning an NBA All-Rookie First Team Selection in 2017. Head Coach Monty Williams joins the Suns this year after being an assistant for the 76ers and helping guide them to a top three seed in the Eastern Conference just last season.
OPPONENT: Golden State Warriors
DATE: February 12, 2020 & February 29, 2020
KEY MATCHUP: Devin Booker vs D’Angelo Russell
BREAKDOWN: It’s always exciting when the Splash Bros meet Devin Booker, but a new face in Golden State might bring out a little more in Suns star. After losing Kevin Durant in free agency, the Warriors took a different direction as they added one of Booker’s closest friends in the league in D’Angelo Russell. Booker and Russell were both drafted in the lottery of the 2015 NBA Draft and since then have proven they’re two of the top young scorers in the entire NBA.
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