The highly anticipated big three debut for the Phoenix Suns will have to be prolonged, as Devin Booker and Kevin Durant will continue to be without their counterpart, Bradley Beal, until at least the beginning of December. That is, after further evaluation and consultation with Beal’s lower back strain injury, the team announced he will be re-evaluated in three weeks while he continues to rehab.
Since being acquired from the Wizards in a blockbuster trade this offseason, Beal sat out the first seven games due to back spasms, making his debut on November 8th against the Bulls. The all-star shooting guard then appeared in three games for his new team, averaging 17.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.7 assists.
Then, during Sunday’s game against the Thunder, it appeared Beal may have tweaked his back in the first half, reaggravating the injury, as he mentioned some back tightness after finishing the game. Even so, at first, this wasn’t considered too concerning, as Beal was listed as probable on the injury report, however, he ended up being a late scratch in Wednesday’s game vs. the Timberwolves. That is to say, Beal’s absence was disappointing to many fans since this would have been the first game all three Suns’ stars would have taken the court together.
Booker has also played in just three of the team’s 11 games this season, as a result of ankle and calf injuries. So far this season, the team has been led by 35-year-old Durant, who has not missed a game and is averaging 30 points per game. Notably, this is the highest scoring average for Durant, since the 2013-2014 season, a year in which he won the NBA scoring title.
For the time being, the injuries are a bit concerning for the Suns team that is seen as a championship-contending team when fully healthy. With the current injury diagnosis for Beal, he is set to miss at least the next nine scheduled games. That is to say, on the calendar, the Suns do not have games currently scheduled from December 2-12 due to the NBA In-Season Tournament, but if the Suns (0-1) make it out of the group stage, and past the semifinals, Beal potentially could suit up for the championship game in Las Vegas, which is set for December 9.
While still without their “missing piece”, Durant and Booker will be at the helm for the 5-6 Suns, as the team hopes to improve to a .500 record upon their road matchup in Utah against the 4-7 Jazz tonight. To note, the court will be purple for this Friday night’s matchup between the teams, as this will be considered an In-Season Tournament game, that will be broadcasted on ESPN, 10 PM ET.