Extra Pass: Suns, Jazz meet for the first time this season

Published January 24, 2022, 6:00 PMRenee Ticzon

Catch the first of back-to-back games between the Suns and the Jazz tomorrow at 10:00 AM on NBA TV Philippines, available on the Smart GigaPlay app.

What’s going on with the Phoenix Suns?

The Suns are going into their back-to-back games against the Jazz with multiple players on the injury list.

Jae Crowder and Cameron Payne will be out after sustaining wrist injuries in their recent win over the Indiana Pacers, while Deandre Ayton has not played since he hurt his ankle last week.

In the absence of Ayton, Bismack Biyombo had a breakout performance against the Pacers. He finished with a double-double of 21 points and 13 rebounds to help the Suns keep their winning streak alive, stretching it to six games. 

What’s going on with the Utah Jazz?

The Jazz suffered a devastating loss against the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors took control of the match until the Jazz made a run early in the fourth quarter that turned it into a close battle.

Utah had an opportunity to complete the comeback in the final possession, but both Bogdan Bogdanovic and Royce O’Neal missed their last attempts.

Regardless, it was still a good game for a team who fought without their main guard. Donovan Mitchell will remain out tomorrow due to concussion protocols.

Storyline to watch out for

The Suns and Jazz will face each other for the first time this season, and their back-to-back matches this week are expected to be exciting despite their missing personnel.

Both teams are led by their young guards who have made quite a name for themselves in the NBA. Devin Booker (24.3 points) and Donovan Mitchell (25.5 points) are shooting over 40 percent from the field and over 30 percent from long range. They are ranked fifth and eighth, respectively, in the All-Star voting for guards in the West as of Jan. 21.

However, they aren’t just a one-man show. These young scorers get a lot of help from their veterans. Chris Paul (10.1 assists) and Mike Conley (5.2 assists) are both extremely talented point guards who don’t make a lot of mistakes. Their head coaches rely on them heavily to get things going.

Both the Suns and Jazz also have a very involved bench. When their main options are unavailable or having an off night, they have many rotational players who are capable of filling the void.