Dragan Bender to start at center with Deandre Ayton, Richaun Holmes out vs. Timberwolves
Initially posted by The Athletic’s Gina Mizell and later confirmed by the team themselves, the Suns will be without both starting big men once again, as Ayton and Holmes continue to recover from a left and right ankle sprain, respectively.
#Suns coach Igor Kokoskov said at shootaround that he expects Deandre Ayton and Richaun Holmes to miss tonight’s game vs. Minnesota. Dragan Bender would start at center again.
— Gina Mizell (@ginamizell) January 22, 2019
Both injuries came during the Suns loss to the Charlotte Hornets last week, and have kept both players from suiting up since. In their absence, Dragan Bender will once again serve as the Suns starting center. During Sunday’s game, Bender had himself a relatively good night, finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds in the Suns 116-114 loss.
Though it was a close contest on Sunday, it’s been another disappointing season for the Suns. The team currently sits at 11-37, good for the worst record in an otherwise very tightly contested Western Conference, and it looks to be another season in which the Suns will be competing for the top spot in the NBA draft.
Even though they possess one of the worst records in the league, it isn’t all bad for the Suns. Devin Booker continues his upward trajectory, posting a career-high in assists per game while continuing averaging 24.5 points and 3.7 rebounds.
Ayton, on the other hand, continues to look worthy of the No. 1 pick that the Suns spent on him last summer. The young center is currently averaging 16.4 points per game to go along with 10.6 rebounds.