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Tyler Johnson (sore right knee) out vs. Rockets

Suns, Tyler Johnson, De'Anthony Melton, Rockets

The 2019 season has not gone as planned for the Phoenix Suns. The team has the second-worst record in the NBA and is looking at another lottery draft pick as their main reason for optimism.

Now, they will be without starting point guard Tyler Johnson for Friday night’s game against the surging Houston Rockets, according to Gina Mizell of The Athletic:

Johnson has settled in as the Suns’ point guard after coming over from the Miami Heat in a February trade. He started twelve of the team’s fourteen games since his acquisition. But as of late, Johnson has been day-to-day with a right knee injury. It will hold him out of Friday night’s contest against the Rockets in Houston.

Johnson was acquired from Miami in exchange for forward Ryan Anderson. Since joining the team, the 26-year-old is averaging 11.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists while shooting only 36.8%. He hasn’t been flashy and won’t win any awards any time soon, but he’s been a valuable player on a team in desperate need of exactly that.

The point guard is earning just over $19.2 million this season, according to Spotrac. He has a player option for the same amount for next year.

In Johnson’s absence, rookie De’Anthony Melton will fill in. The 20-year-old was a second-round pick of the 2018 draft. As a semi-regular this season, he is averaging 5.1 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 37.3%. He has yet to live up to his potential, but Phoenix hopes that with playing time he can make it all click.

At 16-53, the Suns have the worst record in the Western Conference. However, they are coming off of two upset wins in the past two weeks against both conference leaders – the Golden State Warriors and the Milwaukee Bucks. The team will look to pull off a similar upset against the Rockets.